Mayor de Blasio Addresses Illegal Fireworks in NYC for 2021 Season
The Mayor and NYC Sheriff Joseph Fucito had the following to say during this morning’s press conference:
Mayor Bill de Blasio:
“Each summer we look forward to the right kind of fireworks. We’ll talk about that in the days ahead, the kind of fireworks that everyone can enjoy safely and legally, but we also know there’s a real problem with the wrong kind of fireworks. Illegal fireworks are noisy, they disrupt the peace of neighborhoods, but they can also be dangerous, and we have to understand how important it is to ensure that illegal fireworks are confiscated, and so they can’t do harm to people in communities. We saw last year, a three-year-old boy was sitting in his apartment in the Bronx, and someone set off an illegal firework right outside the window and it exploded. The little boy [inaudible] rushed to the hospital with cuts and burns. This is serious stuff, and so our job is to pull together the work of many agencies to stop the fireworks from coming into New York City to begin with. This is a joint effort with the Sheriff’s Office, the NYPD and numerous other agencies of the city, the state, and the federal government, including the ATF who we talked about yesterday – the work that they do in partnership with New York City. So, we’re going after the people who bring these fireworks into New York City to begin with. We’re getting right at the source, and this is what is going to help us to have a safer summer.
Here to tell you about it, someone who I have such respect for what he has done throughout the COVID crisis, and to all the men and women who work in the Sheriff’s Office, my profound thanks. Among the many heroes of the battle against COVID, our colleagues in the Sheriff’s Office really distinguished themselves, and their leader is here with us. Sheriff Joe Fucito – “
New York City Sheriff Joseph Fucito:
“Thank you, Mr. Mayor, and good morning, everyone. So, we can talk a little bit about the Fireworks Task Force. It consists of 32 officers, 10 from the NYPD’s Intelligence Bureau, 12 Fire Department fire marshals, and 10 deputy sheriffs from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation. But we’re also leveraging the greater bandwidth from other agencies. The State Police Forces of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania. We have the Port Authority Police, we have Yonkers PD, and we have ATF.
At a meeting yesterday with NYPD Deputy Police Commissioner John Miller. We all came together to talk about what resources we had and how we were going to try to tackle this problem and be proactive to prevent what we saw last year, which was obviously a disturbing rise in the use of fireworks. So, what the Task Force is looking to do is develop information on who the major suppliers are. We’re going to look to interdict these illegal fireworks as they come into the New York City. So, if we can get them before they get into the city, that’s a good thing for the people. We want to target the locations where they’re stored before sale, where they create a hazard of fire and explosion. So, it’s not all about arresting people. It’s about stopping something really horrific from happening. You don’t want to keep fireworks in a garage, have a fire, and cause a major disruption to the community – as well as calm people. And we also want to target the sellers who peddle the illegal fireworks that result in multiple serious injuries to adults into often the children here in New York City. So, using all of these types of resources and using technology, we’re going to try to tackle it this year to prevent the use illegal fireworks, but you should enjoy a legal fireworks display. As the Mayor said, this is a beautiful summer. You should enjoy yourself and look forward to a legal fireworks display. That’s it. “