Booms and bangs have been a part of life during COVID-19 since late April, and now many in Everett have reached a breaking point when it comes to the endless fireworks shot off day after day – often late into the night.
Several residents have called police, and City leaders have also taken the initiative to try to get action, but Police Chief Steven Mazzie said there is little the force can do but seize the fireworks and issue a summons/fine.
“Fireworks have been a problem earlier this season,” said the chief. “Most of it is related back to cheap entertainment for some families and young folks because of the COVID-19 epidemic. We’ve come across families with mom and dad and children in a park or parking lot to younger folks and young adults seeking entertainment. We have some of them that are setting them off later at night, which has become a nuisance to people trying to sleep.”
He said they cannot arrest for setting off fireworks, unless someone were using it as a weapon to shoot at another person. The most they can do, even late at night, is seize and summons. Fines are anywhere from $10 to $100.
“Our goal now is to cease the activity,” he said. “We have made it a priority to go out and control the activity, especially as it gets late into the night.”
Council President Rosa DiFlorio said she is getting several calls from neighbors who are complaining about late-night fireworks. She said the police don’t have much they can do other than take away the fireworks.
Councilor Michael McLaughlin said he is getting many calls from residents in his ward about late-night fireworks – especially from those having to go to work, from those with babies and from those with pets.
He said he noticed some large fireworks being shot from 7-Acre Park last Saturday around 10:30 p.m. and went to see about it. He said he found several people lighting off large fireworks.
McLaughlin said he called police and the responded, but told him there was no authority to arrest those who were shooting off the fireworks. He said he was frustrated because constituents are calling him off the hook.
“There was nothing they could do other than to tell them that the park is closed and they needed to leave the park,” he said. “They also told me that this was a state law that does not make it an arrestable offense for letting off fireworks. I think this is one of the most disappointing moments I have seen. We had the individuals responsible for causing so much headache in our city and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.”
That, of course, has been the case all over Greater Boston.