WICKLIFFE (WJW) — They are colorful and loud. And backyard fireworks displays are legal in Ohio.

If — and it’s a big If — the city, town or village where you live decides to opt out, fireworks are illegal.

Wickliffe is on the long list of cities that have opted out, but they’re taking it a step further.

Police officers will be writing more tickets after council changed the city’s laws.

“They asked the fire chief and police chief, and they recommended that they keep it illegal. Well if you look back over the last five years with all the complaint calls, zero tickets were written,” said Wickliffe Mayor Joe Sakacs.

Sakacs said under the old ordinance, shooting fireworks in city limits was more of a fire code violation and not one ticket was written in more than five years.

The new law gives the police more authority to enforce a fireworks ban.

He said most of the folks in his city of 13,000 that have contacted him and other council members don’t want folks shooting off fireworks because the houses are very close and there is the risk of fire.

In addition, not everyone or everything likes loud noises.

“I personally don’t like my neighbors doing it. My dog doesn’t definitely appreciate it. He’s very scared of them so,” Hannah Kenyon, of Wickliffe, said.

“We get so many complaints about fireworks. It’s our job to do something about it, and we get way more complaints than we do compliments about fireworks,” Sakacs said.

The mayor said after officers receive a complaint, they can issue a warning the first time but can also slap a resident with a $150 ticket right away.

He said they don’t like to punish folks, but last year they received more than 50 complaints of fireworks displays, and that tied up officers from other duties.

Ticketing may be a good way to cut the complaints and get folks to watch a professional show.

“If there wasn’t a ticket in five years and all of a sudden people are getting tickets and maybe that will let them know, maybe we need to cut it out,” Sakacs said.

The mayor is encouraging residents to go to a big fireworks display at Classic Park.

Wickliffe, Willowick and Eastlake are combining their city displays for one big show on July 4.