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City Creating Special Task Force to Crack Down on Illegal Fireworks

Fireworks packaging left behind from a summer night last year at Hunters Point (Photo provided by Mark Christie)

June 11, 2021 By Allie Griffin

The city is creating a multi-agency task force to crack down on illegal fireworks this summer, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced earlier this week.

The task force will be comprised of 32 agents — 10 officers from the NYPD Intelligence Bureau, 12 fire marshals from the FDNY and 10 deputy sheriffs from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

The officers will also collaborate with the Port Authority, New York State Police, Yonkers Police, New Jersey State Police and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to share intel and resources.

The task force will aim to prevent fireworks from entering New York City by targeting major suppliers.

“We’re going after the people who bring these fireworks into New York City to begin with,” de Blasio said. “We’re getting right at the source.”

New York City residents lodged thousands of complaints regarding illegal fireworks last summer, including in Queens.

In Queens, residents filed more than 9,600 complaints about illegal fireworks with 311 from June 1 through August 31, 2020, according to NYC open data. There were only 229 fireworks complaints in the borough during the same period in 2020.

The complaints were particularly high in the waterfront neighborhoods of Astoria, Long Island City and Far Rockaway last year.

The illegal fireworks activity appears to be making a return.

There have been more than 450 complaints of illegal fireworks in Queens alone since May 1, according to 311 data.

“Each summer we look forward to the right kind of fireworks… but we also know that there’s a real problem with the wrong fireworks,” de Blasio said. “Illegal fireworks are noisy; they disrupt the peace in neighborhoods, but they can also be dangerous.”

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5 Comments

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Tom

After 1 year and 3 months of fireworks our mayor has now decided it’s a problem. Where was he last summer when every night felt like we were under attack. These often are beyond fireworks. There are M80’s and blockbusters. Maybe it came to his neighborhood or he’s now figuring out what his legacy will look like?

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ABoondy

why would the cops care what they mayor says? they wont lift a finger. probably the best year to get crazy amounts of fire works from other states.

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Nobody likes the same joke twice

Aside from the noise a big complaint is that this has made fireworks boring. My family just shrugs and waits for them to be over.

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Toni

This is fine with liberals. I notice they complain a lot about noises at night such as loud music, fart cars, dirt bikes, and fireworks. I guess they like to rest and the noises scare their pets. But sending more cops where shootings are taking place in mostly minority neighborhoods is a big no no.

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