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Boston task force aims to crack down on illegal fireworks

June 27, 2020 GMT

BOSTON (AP) — Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has created a new task force aimed at cracking down on illegal fireworks amid an explosion of complaints.

Walsh said the task force will include the mayor’s chief of civic engagement, the four at-large city councilors, the Boston Arson Squad, the Boston Police Department’s Bureau of Community Engagement, as well as community leaders.

Officials say illegal firework use has skyrocketed this year. Walsh’s office says calls to Boston Police about fireworks were up 5,543% this June compared to last June.

“Fireworks are a serious issue not only in the City of Boston, but all across the country. People lose sleep, babies get woken up, some people with PTSD experience real harms, pets are terrified and they’re fire hazards,” Walsh said in an emailed statement.

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It’s illegal to use, possess or sell fireworks in Massachusetts. You also cannot purchase them legally elsewhere and bring them into the state.