Albany police, city leaders cracking down on fireworks while also working to stop the violence

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Illegal fireworks exploded into the sky Thursday night in Albany’s Pine Hills neighborhood.

Officer Steve Smith told NEWS10 that, due to the significant increase in call volume for fireworks complaints this year, it’s difficult for officers to get there fast enough to catch the perpetrators. However, around 9:45 p.m. Thursday night, officers who had been patrolling in the area were able to quickly respond to the 400-block of Hudson Avenue and successfully apprehend 21-year-old Adam Stojanovski, of North Tonawanda, New York. He was charged with Unlawfully Dealing with Fireworks.

“They were able to actually confiscate other fireworks that hadn’t been set off, yet, and take them into evidence. It’s against the law to use these fireworks and be in possession, but it’s also illegal to sell them,” said Smith.

Smith said the fireworks are not only dangerous with the potential to cause fires and serious injuries, but the loud noises at all hours of the night are also impacting a number of children, pets and veterans with PTSD.

Albany City Councilman Owusu Anane told NEWS10 that even the legal sparkling devices that stay on the ground are starting to disrupt the quality of life, too.

“There are people who are lighting fireworks, literally, at 9 a.m. in the morning. It just doesn’t make sense,” said Anane.

On Friday, he announced that he’s joining some Albany County Legislators in calling for the repeal of firework/sparkling device sales within the county. They were legalized in Albany County in 2016.

“At that time, I believe that legislators thought that sparkling, like many of us would think of it, were small things that you put in your hand and kids put in their hands, but what is being sold in supermarkets and stores are loud TNT devices, which is actually causing headaches for many families and residents,” said Anane.

Smith said Albany Police, Albany County Sheriff’s Deputies, and State Troopers will continue to work together for the July 4 weekend to saturate the streets to crack down not only on fireworks complaints but violent crime in the city, too.

“I can tell you with certainty that we have increased patrols for the weekend,” said Smith.

A new “Stop the Violence” PSA was also launched ahead of the holiday weekend. It was created by Albany City Councilmembers, County Legislators, and community leaders of wards most affected by violence. They said, even if it prevents one person from picking up a gun, it’s well worth it. 

To request the police for fireworks related complaints, Albany Police ask that you continue to call 518-438-4000.

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