NEW YORK — New York City announced the Illegal Fireworks Task Force is cracking down to prevent and tackle the use of illegal fireworks across the city ahead of the warmer months.
As summer approaches and the city continues to reopen, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday there will be celebrations coming up, however he warned of those who plan to use illegal fireworks.
“Each summer, we look forward to the right kind of fireworks,” Mayor de Blasio said Wednesday, “but there’s also a real problem with the wrong kind of fireworks.”
Last summer, there were thousands of complaints of fireworks across the five boroughs.
De Blasio referenced a 3-year-old boy who was injured by fireworks that went off outside his Bronx apartment last year. The boy suffered first- and second-degree burns and needed stitches after firework shells cut him.
The task force will consist of 32 officers from the NYPD Intelligence, FDNY Fire Marshals and members of the Sheriff’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
In addition, the task force will consist of partnerships 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 provide more resources into the unit.
When asked how the task force will stop those suspected of smuggling illegal fireworks into the city, without going into detail, Fucito said they will identify people who have acquired illegal contraband, and once they are in a location where they have violated NYC and NYS laws, they will be put under arrest.
Fucito also said the task force plans to target locations where these illegal fireworks are being supplied and sold.
“It’s not all about arresting people, it’s about stopping something horrific from happening,” he said.
Last year, dozens of people were arrested throughout the five boroughs in connection with using illegal fireworks.