UTICA, N.Y. – The Utica Police Department has received more than 50 complaints over the weekend about fireworks going off in local neighborhoods, according to Sgt. Michael Curley.
The department is down 17 members from full staff, and Curley says in some cases, by the time they can get an officer to the scene, there’s not much they can do if the fireworks have stopped.
The department put out a reminder last week on social media, telling residents illegal fireworks can result in violations, and even misdemeanor charges. Curley also says responding to so many calls about fireworks takes away from the department’s limited resources.
“The more emergent calls should probably take priority over the fireworks calls but, unfortunately, it’s a public nuisance call that we have to respond to, it’s a violation of New York State Penal Law as well as local codes issues,” he said.
While in fireworks can result in noise violations, Curley says it’s also a public safety issue.
“Also I think one of the more important issues is that it's a danger to the public in the street these people are not cleaning up their fireworks, there's debris, there's hot, exploded ordinates, things of that nature, that also poses a threat and a danger to the people,” he said.
Utica police are urging people to be considerate of neighbors and pets, and only let off legal devices, like sparklers and poppers.