NYC task force to crack down on illegal fireworks with focus on supply chain

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illegal fireworks
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NEW YORK — A new multi-agency task force will lead a crackdown on illegal fireworks as complaints in New York City continue to skyrocket.

The task force aims to disrupt the supply chain with sting operations targeting suppliers, distributors and possessors of “large quantities” of illegal fireworks, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.

“Illegal fireworks are both dangerous and a public nuisance” the mayor said. “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.”

Ten officers from NYPD’s Intelligence Bureau, 12 FDNY fire marshals and 20 members of the Sheriff’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation will be chosen for the task force, according to the mayor.

The FDNY will also conduct a public safety campaign illustrating the dangers of illegal fireworks.

New Yorkers filed 11,535 complaints with 311 about illegal fireworks between Jan. 1 and June 21, according to the NYPD.

More than 4,500 of those complaints were reported in Brooklyn between June 1 and June 21, police said.

The agency only received 54 fireworks complaints citywide during the same period in 2019, according to the NYPD.

Calls to 911 about illegal fireworks have also exploded this year.

From Jan. 1 to June 21, there were 13,315 calls to 911 for illegal fireworks — that’s up from 1,007 during the same time period in 2019, according to police.

More than 12,500 of this year’s calls were received between June 1 and June 21, police said.

Anyone who hears fireworks outside their home should call 311 unless there is a real danger to someone’s life, the mayor said.

Earlier Tuesday, de Blasio vowed to cut the supply of illegal fireworks off at the root during an appearance on the PIX11 Morning News.

“I take this very seriously and we’re going to disrupt this situation,” he said.

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