De Blasio Announces Fireworks Task Force

In the hopes of avoiding another summer fireworks free for all, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced that a multi-agency task force would work to limit the flow of illegal pyrotechnics into the city, focusing on those who sell the explosives.

“We’re going after the people who bring these fireworks into New York City to begin with,” proclaimed the mayor during during a virtual press conference. “We’re getting right at the source.”

Last summer, the city received 1,737 fireworks complaints during the first half of June alone. This is 80 times as many complaints as the city received during the same period the prior year. “These are not your normal kids playing with fireworks,” Michael Ford, a piano teacher in Manhattan’s Inwood neighborhood told the NY Times. “These are real explosives, like Macy’s-style fireworks.”

The fireworks fiasco of 2020 gained broader attention when a 3-year-old boy was injured due to an illegal firework being launched into his Bronx apartment window. “He got burned all over his arm, and they gave him at least five stitches,” the boy’s father told ABC-NY. “I took him to the hospital myself … [my kids] were crying all night, until we got back from the hospital.”

The mayor has safety at the forefront of this effort, saying “illegal fireworks are noisy, they disrupt the peace in neighborhoods, but they can also be dangerous, and we have to understand how important it is to ensure that illegal fireworks are confiscated, so they can’t do harm to people in communities.”

The Illegal Fireworks Task Force will be composed of members of the following agencies:

  • NYC Sheriff
  • NYPD Intel
  • FDNY
  • Port Authority
  • NY State Police
  • Yonkers Police
  • NJ State Police
  • U.S. ATF

It’s been advised that anyone who sees anything suspicious or witnesses fireworks being sold or set off should call 311 or 911.

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