Bayonne Fireworks Task Force combats nonstop usage

Sales of illegal fireworks being investigated

Illegal fireworks confiscated by Bayonne Police
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Illegal fireworks confiscated by Bayonne Police

As the use of fireworks plagues residents across Hudson County at all hours of the night, municipalities have responded by creating fireworks task forces to combat the issue. The Bayonne Fireworks Task Force is seeing some progress in reining in illegal fireworks.

Bayonne Police Chief Robert Geisler reminded residents of the formation of the task force to deal with the quality-of-life issue in the city and urged residents to call the police at 201-858-6900 to report nonstop fireworks usage.

“In a proactive approach, we have assigned officers to perform inspections of businesses to ensure that any fireworks being sold comply with all statutory regulations,” Geisler said. “It should be noted, however, that many fireworks that were once illegal, may now be sold in New Jersey.”

The task force, made up of police officers and firefighters, is charged with investigating the sales of illegal fireworks as well as ensuring compliance of businesses that sell legal fireworks.

Since its inception a couple of weeks ago, the task force has responded to dozens of complaints and confiscated scores of illegal fireworks, according to Geisler.

Any business that wants to sell legal fireworks must apply for a permit with the Bayonne Fire Prevention Bureau. The permit process includes an inspection of the selling site and merchandise.

The Bayonne Police Department has responded to hundreds of calls from residents complaining of fireworks use.

Violations of the city’s noise ordinance will be enforced by police, according to Geisler.

“The Task Force will continue to remove illegal fireworks from our community, issue summonses to offenders, and educate the public as to which fireworks are legal vs. illegal,” Geisler said. “Illegal fireworks are a danger to individuals who set them off and to anyone in the area, and they are a Quality of Life issue for our neighbors.”

Task Force established

Initially, the Bayonne Police Department announced it was assigning officers to inspect fireworks sales before the formation of the Fireworks Task Force. Under the task force, police officers and firefighters now coordinate their efforts.

Mayor James Davis announced the formation of the task force at the end of June.

“We have all seen and heard fireworks over the past few weeks, and it has become quite disturbing to us,” Davis said.

Davis noted that Bayonne is not alone. Every community in the region is coping with the fireworks problem.

“Due to our geography and the way sound travels across the water, we unfortunately have to hear fireworks from other communities as well as our own,” Davis said. “To deal with the problem, I have instructed Public Safety Director Kubert, Police Chief Geisler, and Fire Chief Weaver to create a Fireworks Task Force, which is now in place.”

“I assure you that I take this issue very seriously, and we will take every step possible to combat this problem,” Davis said.

The problem was first addressed in Bayonne around June 24. Geisler said fireworks use has been on the rise over the last few weeks.

“The nuisance of fireworks, both in sound and safety, is a concern,” he said. “The Bayonne Police Department is committed to ensuring quality-of-life complaints are taken seriously and dealt with expeditiously.”

Resident who witness the use of illegal fireworks, or the use of fireworks during the ordinance hours, should call the Public Safety Communications Center at 201-858-6900.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.