PATERSON, NJ - Paterson Public Safety Director has a simple message for anyone responsible for illegal fireworks displays across the city: You will find yourself on the wrong side of the law.

The statement came Thursday at a city hall press conference during which Mayor Andre Sayeygh, flanked by his top public safety officials, also including Police Chief Ibrahim “Mike” Baycora and Fire Chief Brian McDermott announced stepped up efforts to the mitigate the increase in the use of fireworks in recent weeks.

Sayegh started out by saying that this is an issue that has been plaguing cities across the US, including in New Jersey where both Hoboken and Jersey City have stepped up law enforcement efforts. On Monday two Hoboken men were arrested and charged with aggravated arson after they allegedly shot fireworks at a residential building in that city.

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Starting Thursday, the Paterson Police Department’s COVID detail will be repurposed and return to quality of life patrols, focused specifically on fireworks. McDermott, who outline some of the dangers of the explosives, including to personal health as well as to fire safety, said his fire marshals and deputy chiefs will also be on routine patrol through each of Paterson’s six wards.

While data compiled by the city indicates that a lot of the fireworks activity has occurred around Jasper Street, Liberty Street, and the Eastside neighborhood, Sayegh said, complaints have also come in from the Lakeview and Hillcrest sections of Paterson. With the 4th of July just over a week away, Sayegh hinted that patrols, including with support from other law enforcement agencies, would be further stepped up.

“We will not stand for anyone’s quality of life being disrupted,” Sayegh told TAPinto Paterson after the event. “We also know that in the wrong hands fireworks can have deadly consequences, and we are going to make sure our resources are focused on keeping our residents safe.”

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