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4th of July without the bang - Cops launch annual crackdown on illegal fireworks

The Brooklyn Paper
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Cops want to take some of the pop out of this year’s Fourth of July festivities.

Following a long-established citywide mandate, area precincts will once again commence their illegal fireworks crackdown – all for a good, and safe, cause.

Officials said that cops throughout downtown Brooklyn, Fort Greene, Williamsburg and Greenpoint will be increasing patrols this Fourth of July weekend, arresting and summonsing anyone seen shooting off illegal fireworks. Any illegal fireworks found will be seized.

At the same time, cops are rooting out illegal fireworks sellers before the explosives can be sold to the general public.

“It’s all about safety,” said Deputy Inspector Michael Kemper, the commanding officer of the 76th Precinct in Carroll Gardens. “We want people to enjoy their Fourth of July holiday and not end up spending the weekend in the hospital.”

While Kemper said that everything was pretty quiet in Carroll Gardens last year, his officers will be letting their guard down this holiday season.

“As always, the 78th Precinct has a zero-tolerance stance against the use or sale of illegal fireworks,” said Deputy Inspector John Argenziano, the commanding officer of the 78th Precinct in Park Slope. “Our officers will be out in force and confiscate any fireworks and to take enforcement action when necessary.”

“We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July weekend,” he said.

So far this year, cops in Patrol Borough Brooklyn South haven’t reported any large firework seizures.

“Firework prevention is a major initiative in keeping our communities safe,” Chief Joseph Fox, the commanding officer of Patrol Borough Brooklyn South said in a statement. “Illegal fireworks injure many and can permanently disfigure those who use them.”

Cops have been spreading the word about their hunt for illegal fireworks since as far back as April by providing residents with posters and fliers about the dangers of illegal fireworks. The NYPD has also provided phone numbers for reporting illegal sales of fireworks.

“Rest assured that those who use or distribute these dangerous items will be arrested,” Fox said, adding that a $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a “fireworks violator.”

Penalties for those caught with illegal fireworks range from a $750 fine to the repossession of the resident’s car if the fireworks were found in the vehicle.

Cops are asking anyone with information regarding illegal fireworks in their area to come forward.

For in-progress crimes regarding illegal fireworks, contact 911. To dispense information about firework sellers in your neighborhood, call 311.

All calls will be kept confidential.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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