The sounds of explosions fill the air in Dyker Heights every Fourth of July, according to neighborhood residents who said the holiday has become a noisy nuisance in recent years due to the large amounts of fireworks people shoot off to celebrate the holiday.
The issue of fireworks and what to do about them was a topic of discussion at a meeting of the Dyker Heights Civic Association (DHCA) on June 12, where residents asked Capt. Robert Conwell, the commanding officer of the 68th Police Precinct, to hunt down people illegally shooting fireworks.
“I have to say it’s bad in Dyker Heights,” DHCA President Fran Vella-Marrone told Conwell at the meeting.
It is illegal to buy, sell or possess fireworks, including sparklers, in New York City. Those who use their vehicles to transport fireworks are risking having their vehicles seized by the police, according to the city’s website, www.nyc.gov.
Many fireworks aficionados, however, ignore the law and launch firecrackers, small rockets and other explosives all day long on July Fourth for the thrill of it.
Conwell, who is new to the 68th Precinct (he was named the commander in March) said he sympathized with residents seeking a quiet, peaceful Fourth of July.
He vowed to add additional police officers to Dyker Heights and Bay Ridge, the two neighborhoods the precinct covers, to crack down on fireworks use.“I will have extra personnel out there,” he said.
“We do put people out there in plain clothes,” he said, adding that police often catch fireworks users in the act.
But Conwell said residents can also help in the fight against illegal fireworks by calling in tips to 911 and to the city 311 quality-of-life telephone hotline. “If we get a tip, we investigate it,” he said.
Residents can report tips anonymously. But police advise residents to call 911 only in cases where the sale or use of fireworks is in progress or if they see large quantities of fireworks being stored. Residents can call 311 to report past use of fireworks.
City officials are urging residents to enjoy the Macy’s Fireworks Show on the night of July 4 if they want to see colorful explosions in the air.
Featuring more than 75,000 shells, the fireworks will be launched from a series of barges set up in the East River.
The spectacular show will also include live musical performances from Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton and Ricky Martin.