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Massachusetts police stepping up efforts to crack down on illegal fireworks

By WBZ Staff

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    BROCKTON (WBZ) — Police in Massachusetts are continuing their efforts to reduce the use of illegal fireworks during the summer season.

State Police Col. Christopher Mason and Brockton acting police chief Brenda Perez spoke during a Tuesday event about efforts to curtail what has become an ongoing issue in many Massachusetts communities.

“When I first became the colonel and first became aware of the fireworks interdiction efforts that we did, to be candid with you I didn’t appreciate what those interdiction efforts were doing and what impact they had,” Mason said. “I quickly heard from the communities that were impacted, predominantly urban communities. The use of the fireworks within the community were creating a very negative quality of life issue. We were hearing loud and clear from them.”

In Brockton, police set up a task force and a hotline to report illegal fireworks.

Perez said that since 2020, fireworks incidents have gone down 78%.

“We’re taking proactive steps to educate the public that this is illegal, it’s not OK, and it is disruptive to our citizens,” Perez said. “We all have a right to our peace. And it is illegal. It’s working and educating the public really.”

Mason said one ongoing problem in Massachusetts is that fireworks are legal in nearby states, including New Hampshire.

“It’s a persistent challenge for us. It has been for a number of years,” Mason said. “Through our enforcement efforts and our education efforts, through leveraging social media, we’re able to get that message out and try to socialize that as much as we can and get that into people’s heads. Start to get them to understand the use of that fireworks impacts family pets, it impacts veterans suffering from PTSD, and it impacts families trying to put kids to bed at a reasonable time.”

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