ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — “It’s very annoying,” said Nakita Goings of Rochester. “You can’t sleep, dogs are barking and police are being called.”
Complaints about fireworks are still pouring in. And they can be more than just a pain to hear — they can also result in injuries and fires.
According to Henrietta Assistant Fire Chief Mark Cholach, things might get even worse.
“With there being no professional displays this year, I unfortunately predict that there’s going to be a lot of injury,” Cholach said.
Monroe County Legislator Rachel Barnhart (D-21) is working with the Rochester Fire Department for change.
“I’m asking for a plan from our police department,” Barnhart said. “I would like our fire department to be included, which it is. The RFD did respond to several fireworks calls over the weekend and it worked, neighbors say they like seeing and hearing from firefighters.”
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office responded with this statement:
“If they know the specific address, that helps immensely,” said Sgt. Matthew Buttone. “MCSO does investigate every complaint that is received and investigates to determine the best course of action with each complaint whether it is an arrest or to educate on the dangers of fireworks.”
Rochester police released a statement about fireworks Monday, saying in part:
“The Rochester Police Department requests that when illegal fireworks are heard or seen to call 911. The dangers of using illegal fireworks are many. Unlicensed, untrained users of fireworks run the risk of bodily injury to themselves or others, hearing loss, and ground or structure fires, just to name a few.
Fireworks being set off in neighborhoods effect the quality of life for all residents. It is annoying and alarming to hear loud booms that often sound like gunshots. We ask that you respect your neighbors.
When calling 911, it is important to be specific on where the illegal fireworks are originating. An actual address is needed for us to take any enforcement. Without a specific location, the police department cannot properly address the annoyance or dangerous condition created by illegal fireworks.
Enforcement for the possession and use of illegal fireworks range from the issuance of a Municipal Code Violation ticket for noise violations, to criminal charges.”
At a press conference last week, the Rochester Fire Chief and Police Chief addressed fireworks.
“There’s been a large increase in complaints on illegal fireworks,” Said RFD Chief Willie Jackson said. “There’s been an uptick in fires related to fireworks as well. Fireworks are not safe in the hands of consumers.”
The fire chief reminded residents that every year there are more than 10,000 injuries nationwide related to fireworks. The fire chief also reminded residents of potential criminal ramifications.
“If your fireworks start a fire, you can be charged with arson,” Chief Jackson said. “There are legal consequences to think about.”
RPD Chief La’Ron Singletary echoed the thoughts of many at the press conference.
“The fireworks are annoying,” he said.