2015-07-01 / Front Page

Cops Ready To Put Kabash On Kaboom

Fourth of July revelers take note: if you are caught by police purchasing, displaying, storing or lighting illegal fireworks this summer, you will be arrested and put through the system – without exception.

Police officials this week are alerting Queens residents that they will lose their freedom if they purchase illegal explosives or set off illegal fireworks displays on local streets.

Police sources told the Gazette plainclothes police officers will be on foot patrol, bicycle patrol on routine patrol and in unmarked vehicles to seek-out and nab violators who insist on firing illegal explosive devices on and around the July 4th holiday weekend and throughout the summer season.

“We will be out there,” police officials said. “Have no doubt. If you are within our range of hearing, we will get you. We are certainly going to be prepared to handle any contingency over the July 4 weekend,” the officials said.

The crackdown, part of an ongoing enforcement effort started by the NYPD during the Giuliani administration, puts police at local precincts, Transit cops, Vice cops and teams of Fireworks Interdiction officers searching for individuals who set off illegal sidewalk displays and other displays featuring the highly dangerous, illegal explosive devices.

Fire officials said the FDNY is prepared send fire units to the street to scout and seize illegal fireworks caches. Firefighters will detain offenders for police action, officials said.

Police officials said anyone caught with illegal explosives will be arrested and could face charges of possession of illegal explosive devices, endangering and other serious charges.

Offenders should expect to spend at least one night behind bars for arrest processing, police said. ”They won’t be getting out with a summons or a desk appearance ticket.”

Officials said offenders “can count on being booked and held until they see a judge who will decide their immediate fate – and their freedom.”

A bill signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last November offers some “wiggle room” to New York State residents who want to celebrate the July 4th holiday using small fireworks. There’s just one catch, city and state police officials said. The law does not apply to the sale of “small fireworks” and other explosive devices throughout the five boroughs.

New York State police officials said 31 counties have legalized the purchase and use of ground-based fountains and hand-held sparkling devices, wooden stick sparklers, party poppers snaps, snakes, cone fountains and cylindrical fountains by the public. But the devices are still banned for sale or use in New York City, state police officials said.

“Fireworks – all types of fireworks – are still illegal and cannot be sold or used within the five boroughs of New York City,” the officials said.

NYPS officials are urging the public to take advantage of the many legal fireworks on display throughout the July 4th holiday weekend, and throughout the summer. “Leave the use of these explosive devices to the experts,” police officials said. “Do not risk serious injury or arrest when you can sit back and enjoy professional displays in neighborhoods all over Queens and the rest of the city.” 

Police and Fire officials are urging the public to call 911 or your local precinct to report illegal fireworks displays.

 

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