City councilor introduces ordinance to fine fireworks violations

June 24, 2020 | G. Michael Dobbs

SPRINGFIELD – City Councilor Victor Davila wants to see people who shoot off fireworks – illegal in the Commonwealth – served with a fine and Mayor Domenic Sarno would like to see a proposed ordinance go a step further.

Sarno said he wants fine attached to the renewal of a driver’s license or registration of a car to insure its payment.

“Make them feel the pain,” Sarno said. “They will think twice about it.”

At the beginning of the summer many city residents are hearing fireworks every night, according to a Facebook post by the Springfield Police Department (SPD) asking where the fireworks are taking place.

In response hundred of reports have come into the SPD, according to the departments spokesperson Ryan Walsh. Last year at this time there had been 12 complaints. This year there have been 815.

Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood said there have been police units charged with addressing fireworks complaints. Fire Commissioner BJ Calvi recently recorded a message about the dangers of fireworks being used in the city by inexperienced people.  Calvi also noted the harm fireworks can do as a fire threat, and to people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and pets.

Clapprood said her officers have “been running all over the place” answering calls.

Sarno said his neighborhood has not been immune to the fireworks.

Residents are urged to call 3-1-1 during the day with information.

“Fireworks pose a real safety threat to our neighborhoods and are a public nuisance. This ordinance change aims to hold those accountable for their reckless use of fireworks,” Davila said in a statement.  He added, “People work hard. They deserve a quiet and peaceful night of sleep. These knuckleheads are ruining our quality of life and it’s not acceptable.”

The proposed ordinance amendment is co-sponsored by Councilors Mike Fenton, Adam Gomez, Jesse Lederman, Melvin Edwards, and Council President Justin Hurst.

The mayor commended Davila for his action and added, “To each an every one of these amateur pyro-technicians: cut the crap.”

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