Gov. Andrew Cuomo has directed the New York State Police to establish a new temporary Fireworks Enforcement Detail in an effort to stem the flow of illegal fireworks entering New York from Pennsylvania.
During a press conference on Monday, Cuomo said the special state police detail is being established in response to a spike of illegal firework use throughout the state. The detail will be in place until July 3.
Residents across the state have complained in recent weeks about a spike in the use of illegal fireworks, which Cuomo described as "dangerous" and "illegal."
"Some nights in New York City it sounds like the Wild West with all the fireworks going off. I've never heard it like this before. They are disturbing, they bother people and they are dangerous," he said.
New York is not alone.
With the Fourth of July holiday approaching, fireworks have become a nightly nuisance from Connecticut to California, depriving Americans of sleep while becoming a cause for concern among public officials.
Rules governing the sale of commercial fireworks vary from state to state. In Pennsylvania, a wide variety of commercial fireworks can be purchased year-round. In New York, sales are limited to certain types of low-grade fireworks only and within only designated time periods throughout the year as allowed by individual counties.
Cuomo said the state will attempt to prevent illegal fireworks from crossing over state lines while also encouraging local police departments to crack down on those who use them.
"I need to the local governments in this state to take this seriously. I know there is a lot going on on a lot of levels, but this is illegal and it's dangerous and we have to stop it," he said.