JERSEY CITY, NJ - Illegal fireworks are an explosive topic this year, as internet forums are lit up with comments and complaints about impromptu displays going off in at all hours in neighborhoods across Hudson County and beyond.

Complaints in Jersey City, Union City, and Hoboken, have been met with echoes across the river in Manhattan and Brooklyn, citing loud and random explosions day and night—unfortunately coming at a time of palpable sociopolitical unease.

"We are aware that fireworks are a big issue this year. I see posts of complaints on social media from various cities and states with the same issue," said Yousef J. Saleh, Jersey City Councilman Ward D. "That is not to say that we should not try to work on our issue here."

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Ward C Councilman Richard Boggiano said, "I just spoke with Chief Kelly on the fireworks issue and starting tomorrow night a new unit will be out called, the Community Response Team."

As Jersey City begins to reevaluate its police budget, the Community Response Team will seemingly be tasked with tracking down and enforcing the prohibition of certain fireworks. While sparklers, smoke bombs and party poppers are legal in New Jersey, most aerial and concussion fireworks are not. CLICK HERE for more information. 

With the 4th of July still weeks away, the onset of such a widespread fireworks issue has been puzzling to most. Some consider fireworks to be harmless fun, but many concerns have been expressed about safety, the impact on pets or children, and overall mental health of residents—in what has already been a rather edgy 2020. 

Enforcement will likely be a challenge, as the JCPD's Community Response Team targets such a widespread area. According to Councilman Saleh, "The best way to assist is to call with the exact location of the fireworks as they are happening. JCPD Non-Emergency Number (201) 547-5477."

In July 2019, JCPD were involved in the non-fatal shooting of two men at the Arlington Gardens Housing Complex. The men, aged 19 and 21, were allegedly firing Roman Candles—which officers mistook for firearms.

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