UPDATE: Hoboken Police Chief Ferrante on Nightly Fireworks

The use of fireworks in recent nights in the tristate region has led the Hoboken Police Department to take action.  Chief Ken Ferrante released the following message late this afternoon to address the situation:

A major quality of life problem in the tri-state area right now is fireworks being set off from 10pm thru 4am nightly (12 straight nights). The following are some of the theories that have been discussed on mainstream media as well as social media: 1) support for protests, 2) freedom of expression, 3) teens and young adults releasing frustration for months of being stuck home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and 4) police, fire and government doing it In retaliation of protests. No one knows for sure, but after dealing with this the past 12 nights in Hoboken, I can assure our residents that police officers, fire fighters nor government officials are setting off these fireworks in Hoboken. No matter what the reason is, the time that the conduct is occurring is unacceptable and is causing problems for Hoboken’s 53,000+ residents and first responders. We are taking immediate steps after what our residents and officers dealt with over the weekend.

Many groups were setting fireworks in all areas of the city, consistently on the waterfront, and organizing and meeting points were proven to be along Sinatra Drive.  The consistent amount of large groups congregating on the waterfront, playing loud music, setting off fireworks, and multiple other quality of life misconduct like drinking and urinating in the parks needs to be addressed. Last night, shooting off of fireworks in Queens, NY led to a three alarm fire where 12 firefighters were injured. Surrounding communities like Jersey City and West New York are reporting the same conduct.

Starting tonight, a quality of life, high visibility deployment of police officers will be hitting the streets, supplementing our regular night patrols targeting the setting off of fireworks as well as other quality of life issues including the playing of loud music, revving car and motorcycle engines, and drinking in public. City Ordinance summonses for Disturbing the Peace will be issued. Fines for that ordinance usually cost in the area of $500.

I have also asked Mayor Ravi Bhalla and his Administration as well as the City Council to consider putting forth legislation banning both the sale and the use of fireworks in the City.

The Hoboken Fire Department is assisting with doing inspection at stores to ensure that they are not currently selling illegal fireworks. State legislation in 2017, signed by then-Governor Chris Christie, legalized many forms of sparklers and fireworks but not all.

If you observe groups setting off fireworks late at night, please contact the Hoboken Police Department at 201-420-2100, as the conduct is occurring.