Throughout the month of June, many NYC neighborhoods have been experiencing extremely loud, bright illegal fireworks.
Complaints have been skyrocketing, according to the Mayor’s Office. There have been 8,967 complaints of illegal fireworks from June 1-21 to 311, as reported by the NY Post. Last year during the same timeframe, only 28 complaints called in. The areas that are receiving the most complaints are all in Brooklyn: Flatbush, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, and Crown Heights.
Mayor de Blasio announced yesterday, June 23, that the city was putting together a “task force” to crack down on fireworks suppliers. It will include 10 officers from the NYPD Intelligence Bureau, 12 FDNY Fire Marshals and 20 members of the Sheriff’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
The task force is beginning with a “sting operation” to find out where the illegal fireworks are being sold around the city, or in surrounding towns and are making their way into NYC. The operation, plus ongoing investigations, will target “suppliers, distributors and possessors of large quantities of illegal fireworks” to stop the blasts by cutting the activity off at the source.
They will also work to educate the public on the dangers of illegal fireworks through social media campaigns and public service announcements.
“Illegal fireworks are both dangerous and a public nuisance,” said the Mayor. “We’re cracking down on this activity at the source to ensure the safety of all New Yorkers and the ability of our neighbors to get some sleep.”
Ironically enough, the announcement came just before this year’s new plan for the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks. Read more here.
featured image source: Stock Photo by Jeffrey Blum on Unsplash