FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 11, 2006
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY FOR ILLEGAL FIREWORKS DURING WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg’s weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, June 11, 2006
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"I've said many times that New York is the safest big city in the nation. Today, we face fewer crimes, fires, traffic fatalities, and other major hazards than at any time in recent memory. And with Independence Day approaching, it's also worth noting our remarkable record on fireworks safety; so far this year, there hasn't been a single recorded injury caused by fireworks in our city. We're determined to keep it that way. That's why the Joint Fireworks Task Force, which includes the FDNY, NYPD, and other local public safety agencies, is going into overdrive during the next few weeks to keep illegal fireworks out of our city.
"Let me be as clear as I can: Possession or use of all consumer fireworks-M-80s, firecrackers, rockets, and sparklers-is illegal anywhere in the five boroughs. Anyone caught buying, selling, or using fireworks will be arrested. We mean business; so far this year, we've arrested more than 60 people for having or trafficking in illegal fireworks, and confiscated more than 760 cases of fireworks. Using a new enforcement strategy, we've seized more than 30 vehicles that were being used to transport fireworks. And, thanks to a law I signed last year, sale, possession, or use of fireworks can also result in stiff fines in civil court.
"The penalties are serious. And we're doing everyone a favor by enforcing them-because the stark reality is that in the hands of amateurs, fireworks can be extremely dangerous. Using them can result in burns, maiming injuries, fires, and serious property damage. That's why, as Independence Day approaches, we're going to be analyzing all the calls that came into 311 last June and July about fireworks use. Doing that will tell us where to look for trouble again this year. And if you're aware of any illegal fireworks activity, don't hesitate to call 311 at anytime.
"The Joint Fireworks Task Force is just one example of how our Police and Fire Departments never stop working together to keep New Yorkers safe. And it's always a pleasure to have a chance to honor just how much all the members of our uniformed forces do to protect us. So on Wednesday, I joined Fire Commissioner Nick Scoppetta at the Fire Department's annual Medal Day, to help present 43 well-deserved awards to firefighters for their heroic, life-saving actions during the past 12 months. On the following day, Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty and I awarded medals of honor to sanitation workers who had gone beyond the call of duty in rescuing New Yorkers from fires, helping apprehend criminals, and protecting the victims of traffic accidents. (We also promoted the department's first two female deputy chiefs.) On Friday, Correction Commissioner Martin Horn and I swore in more than 150 new correction officers; their contributions to public safety are vital, even though they're too-often unnoticed. And in a few days, I'll join Police Commissioner Ray Kelly at the NYPD's annual Medal Day, when we honor the finest of New York's Finest.
"I want to express my heartfelt appreciation to all our City's uniformed forces, and urge all New Yorkers to do your part too-especially by continuing to stay away from illegal fireworks.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
Listen to the radio address