Fireworks a hot topic at sheriff's meeting in Burbank

Walla Walla County Sheriff John Turner is in the midst of a series of public sessions around the area.

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BURBANK -- There were fireworks at the Sheriff's Round Table on Tuesday,

But the talk was how to ban them in Burbank, or as one person commented, "How do we justify each Fourth of July when we get this town blown to pieces?"

The question of banning fireworks was just one of many topics covered by Walla Walla County Sheriff John Turner and his staff during the third of four community meetings the sheriff has scheduled. The next one will be Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Walla Walla High School commons room.

Turner has said he intends to hold the round table meetings each quarter. The meetings in Touchet, Waitsburg, Burbank and Walla Walla are intended to provide information about the Sheriff's Office as well as allow people to talk about local law enforcement issues.

In regard to the fireworks issue, Turner and county Commissioner Perry Dozier, who also attended the meeting, discussed how residents could present their request to commissioners. Dozier said he could also bring the topic up when he met with his fellow commissioners, but said the best method is for community members themselves to take the initiative.

Along with questions on fireworks, Sheriff's Office finances and law enforcement, Turner and his staff described the changes they have instituted to the office to increase efficiency and improve services to county residents. The sheriff, however, said much remains to be done.

"It's really apparent that we are far shy of the quantity, caliber and quality of the service we want to provide," Turner said.

Accompanying Turner were Undersheriff Edward Freyer, Operations Capt. Barry Blackman and Jail Superintendent Keilen Harmon.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318. Check out his blog at blogs.ublabs.org/randomthoughts.

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