Providence launches fireworks task force following complaints
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)– The city of Providence announced the formation of a fireworks task force today, in response to soaring noise complaints over the past few weeks.
According to a statement from the city, nearly a dozen law enforcement officers organized by the police and fire departments, along with the Rhode Island State Fire Marshal’s Office, are expected to patrol neighborhoods after 7 p.m. from Thursday through Sunday.
“Here in Rhode Island, ground-based fireworks and handheld sparklers are legal,” said Providence Police Colonel Hugh Clements. “But given the cancellation of a number of recent fireworks displays locally, illegal fireworks have become more accessible to the public.”
Clements said the problem was not specific to Providence, as complaints had been reported statewide and across the country.
City Council Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan said a meeting with city stake-holders identified areas of concern, including educating residents on what fireworks are legal, and targeting businesses selling illegal ones.
Ryan said the task force should also be able “to laser focus on hot spot or problematic areas.”
©WLNE/ABC 6 2020