BOSTON (CBS) — A new task force will look into the rise of illegal fireworks in Boston, Mayor Marty Walsh announced Friday. There has been a staggering increase in complaints about fireworks in May and June of 2020.
“We have a new newborn and when they’re going off it’s difficult to put her to sleep and console her so we just think it’s terrible and hopefully it comes to an end,” said Boston resident Eurica Araujo.
Fireworks calls to Boston police are up 5,543% in June compared to last year, Walsh said. There were 139 total calls last June and 7,844 this June.
“Fireworks are a serious issue not only in the City of Boston, but all across the country. People lose sleep, babies get woken up, some people with PTSD experience real harms, pets are terrified and they’re fire hazards,” Walsh said in a statement. “Working together with our partners in public safety, the City Council and the community as a Task Force is an important way to address this issue and work to take fireworks off the streets.”
The task force will consist of Boston City Councilors Annissa Essaibi-George, Michael Flahery, Julia Mejia and Michelle Wu, as well as the mayor’s chief of civic engagement, the Boston Arson Squad, the Boston Police Department’s Bureau of Community Engagement and other community leaders.
Mejia hopes a community led approach will help people understand how their actions affect their neighbors.
“This not going to be one of those situations that we’re going to arrest ourselves out of,” Mejia said. “People can’t sleep at night. Dogs, infants you know people who are experiencing trauma are being triggered by these fireworks at all hours of the night.”
It’s illegal to possess fireworks in Massachusetts, even if they are purchased out-of-state.
Boston Police say if you hear or see fireworks in your area, you’re asked to call 911.