July 4 evening in my neighborhood sounded like a war zone. The fireworks noise continued until 4 in the morning, shattering any hope of a restful night’s sleep. The fireworks used appeared to be of a professional quality, looking at the remains littered on the streets all over this area the next day.
When I called the 111th Precinct a few times July 4 night over a period of several hours to complain, I was told not to tie up the line.
That response was unacceptable. The sergeant who answered the phone made me feel like the police did not want to do their job, that the 111th Precinct was some type of country club not to be disturbed.
I was also told at one point to call 911. Why should I call the emergency number when the precinct is a few blocks from my community? The people who were exploding these dangerous devices were breaking the law and the enforcement by the police at the precinct left much to be desired.
Our Police Department needs to be more vigilant in enforcing the law and more visible during July 4 night. They should be using the loud speakers they have in many patrol vehicles to inform people who are blowing up these bombs that their behavior is illegal and that they are subject to arrest.
I also wish the police would have more of a presence at Marie Curie Playground by MS 158, at 46th Avenue and 46th Road at 211th Street, at all times because of the drug problem. The children who play there must be protected from this scourge.
The Fire Department should have been out as well on July 4 night. Luckily, we had rain earlier in the day. Otherwise, I am sure that with the amount and intensity of fireworks going off, fires would have started and destroyed homes and property leading to injury and death of innocent people. Our pets also suffered during this blitzkrieg.
I understand from friends whom I have spoken to that this problem was experienced all over. I do not understand why people equate the celebration of our country’s birth with a need to explode dangerous devices all night long that could cause severe injury and damage. Let the professionals put on fireworks displays in safe areas that conclude at a reasonable hour.
Our elected officials should take note of this problem. It is imperative that they see that the fireworks laws are enforced and that solutions and strategies are established so we can all enjoy the July 4 holiday without fear and trepidation.
The media should also pay more attention to this problem in their coverage and make this issue a Page 1 headline story.
Mandingo Osceola Tshaka