The city is going to crack down on the increased use of illegal fireworks throughout the five boroughs, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday.
During his daily briefing, de Blasio noted that the use of illegal fireworks is not just an issue of quality of life or a noise problem — it is also an issue of public safety. According to de Blasio, the city needs to get to the root of the situation and cut off the supply of illegal fireworks that are being sold in the city, so the city is starting a multi-agency task force to crack down on illegal fireworks sales.
The task force will consist of 10 officers from NYPD Intelligence Bureau, 12 FDNY Fire Marshals and 20 members of the Sheriff’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and they will focus their efforts on suppliers, distributors and possessors of large quantities of illegal fireworks by conducting investigations and sting operations within and outside of New York City to disrupt supply chains.
“Illegal fireworks are both dangerous and a public nuisance,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “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.”
The FDNY will also launch a public safety campaign, including public service announcements and social media, to illustrate the dangers of illegal fireworks.
“Fireworks are illegal in New York City for a reason: they are extremely dangerous and can cause fires and serious injuries,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. “Our Fire Marshals will work closely with their fellow law enforcement agencies to address this growing problem that is impacting New Yorkers in communities across our city.”
Mayor de Blasio also stated that the annual Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks show will take a different form this year. In an effort to reduce public gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic, there will be separate fireworks shows in each borough.
Starting June 29, weather permitting, Macy’s will bring a unique five-minute show to one of the five boroughs and will have tributes to frontline and essential workers. The finale will air on July 4 on NBC. The goal is to try and give New Yorkers a firework show that they can enjoy from the comfort of their own boroughs without having to gather in Manhattan and possibly exposing themselves to COVID-19.
“This July is going to take on added meaning. We’ve all been through so much and we are finally making sustained progress, knock on wood we’ve got a lot more to go,” said de Blasio. “But everyone of you who has worked so hard on social distancing, the shelter in place, the face coverings to get us to this day, we’re celebrating you. We’re celebrating the city. We’re celebrating this country at a moment where we all need to take stock and be proud of what we had done together.”
More information about each individual show will be released in the coming days.
This story first appeared on amny.com.