BOSTON — Boston police say they get several hundred calls a night all complaining about the same thing... fireworks. Whether it’s a form of protest or people just thinking they’re fun, it is concerning to many residents.
“Number one I’m afraid of fire,” said South Boston resident Joanne Hawkes. “There is a lot of us who still have wood houses and it is scary. They are behind my house, they are in front of my house. It’s every night and the second reason I have a dog who is terrified.”
Police say all they do is confiscate fireworks and fine users because possession is illegal, but not arrestable.
“It is a situation where they could make several hundred arrests every night and maybe that’s the answer but we also do need to follow this through where we are arresting and they are not released from jail,” said Boston City Councilor Ed Flynn. “It’s an issue in almost everywhere right now.”
Dozens of exasperated residents voiced their complaints in an online meeting Monday including veteran Mark McKunes who says he approached kids in his neighborhood shooting fireworks and was attacked.
“It’s no longer a nuisance,” said McKunes. “They are now attacking South Boston residents.”
5 days before Independence Day, this meeting was supposed to be held at Medal of Honor Park but was moved online because of the weather.
The weather right now may be the only thing seeming to stop fireworks which residents say are otherwise becoming a year-round issue with very few solutions in sight.
“There’s a lot of money to be made and two for one type deals so maybe we need to go after the suppliers and limit their supply but also work with our Police Departments,” said Boston City Councilor Michael Flaherty. “But community policing may not be the safest thing to do here.”
Police say they know supplies are coming from several different locations but are looking at ways to potentially stop deliveries. Still, some residents are losing hope.
“I know the police are doing their best but there’s so many who have them,” said Hawkes. “I don’t really know how they’re going to stop them.”
Representatives from Boston police, fire, and city council were all on the meeting as were State reps. There were no laws changed, just discussions so elected officials and people on the fireworks task force can figure out what if anything they can do to make progress on the issue.
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