Council urges proactive approach on firework displays

Council urges proactive approach on firework displays

NORTH PROVIDENCE – Members of the Town Council are asking the North Providence Police Department to take an early proactive approach to dealing with residents who set off disruptive neighborhood fireworks displays in June and July.

Councilor Stefano Famiglietti requested and received approval by his colleagues last week for a letter asking police to be active on social media and elsewhere in warning residents against illegal aerial fireworks displays, including emphasizing what the law is on the activity.

Famiglietti said he’s sure everyone remembers last year and the consistent loud noises that bombarded residents, and he expects everyone to be even more eager to celebrate as they’re coming out of a pandemic this summer.

The Breeze reported last July that officers had made four arrests of residents for setting off illegal fireworks displays in June, part of a larger effort to protect safety and quality of life.

Fireworks calls were heaviest during the third week of June 2020, with 57 total, and there were 28 calls during the second week of June, 39 calls during the fourth week of June, and 23 calls from June 28 to July 3 leading up to a busy July 4 weekend. Fireworks complaints really got going in earnest in the second week in June, after one call of complaint during the first week of June last year.

Arrests last year were made between June 19 and June 28, and most came after police were “in the right place at the right time,” according to Chief Arthur Martins.

Martins said last year that police discovered many complaint calls were related to fireworks being shot off in neighboring Providence, Pawtucket and Johnston, despite being visible in North Providence. All of those calls were included in the department’s totals because police responded to them.

Mayor Charles Lombardi, the town’s public safety director, said this week that he expects this year’s fireworks response to be even more difficult than last year, as so many people will be back with their families and looking to celebrate the holiday in style. He said town and police officials are asking people to be as careful and considerate as possible as they celebrate. Aerial fireworks are illegal, said Lombardi, but he sees no possible way where police will be able to fully stop them from being set off.