New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday vowed to crack down on illegal fireworks that have been plaguing the five boroughs — an ongoing problem for numerous cities across America.
The mayor announced formation of a fireworks task force that “will target suppliers, distributors and possessors of large quantities of” these explosives.
“Yes, I hear them, too,” de Blasio said. “We’re taking action on illegal fireworks. We’ll be cracking down on the out-of-state suppliers behind this dangerous public nuisance so we can cut it off at the source.”
New York police and fire departments will be “conducting investigations and sting operations within and outside New York City to disrupt supply chains,” according to City Hall.
New York, known as the city that never sleeps, has been a tough place to get any shuteye in recent weeks with fireworks going off all over town.
Footage of a wild fireworks display in the streets of Brooklyn went viral last week.
New Yorkers have called a city complaint line more than 1,700 times to report illegal fireworks in the first half of June. There were just 21 registered complaints during this same time last year.
“For any number of reasons, the use of illegal fireworks has skyrocketed this year and that has damaged the quality of life in our neighborhoods,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a statement on Tuesday. “The NYPD will continue to work closely with our city partners to address this dangerous issue.”
“It keeps me up, it keeps my kids up,” San Jose resident Becky Piscitelli told NBC Bay Area of recent fireworks. “My dog burrows underneath my bed.”
NBC Los Angeles obtained internal LAPD data showing that between June 1 and June 13, LAPD officers were sent to 459 reports of illegal fireworks, a 104 percent increase from the same period in 2019, when officers were sent to 224 calls.