Uptown Police Ramp Up Security for Fourth of July

By Nigel Chiwaya on June 27, 2013 1:56pm 

 The 34th precinct has been distributing signs informing residents that fireworks are illegal. The precinct will keep an eye out for rooftop fireworks on July 4th.
The 34th precinct has been distributing signs informing residents that fireworks are illegal. The precinct will keep an eye out for rooftop fireworks on July 4th.
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DNAinfo/Nigel Chiwaya

INWOOD — The 34th Precinct will keep their eyes toward the sky on July 4th.

In an effort to curb illegal fireworks use on Independence Day, police will be focusing on rooftops of neighborhood buildings in Washington Heights and Inwood.

Speaking at Wednesday night's community council meeting, Deputy Inspector Barry Buzzetti laid out the precinct's plans for Fourth of July policing.

The precinct will also pay extra attention to Dyckman Street, as Buzzetti said two supervisors and 16 traffic agents will hit the streets to keep order. In addition, the precinct has been distributing fliers in English and Spanish to inform and remind locals that fireworks are illegal.

Buzzetti, the commanding officer at the precinct, previously explained the precinct's shift to rooftops earlier in the month, telling residents at Community Board 12's public safety meeting that he noticed fireworks being used on rooftops instead of streets, particularly around Post Avenue.

Last year, residents in Washington Heights and Inwood said illegal fireworks went off for weeks before Independence Day, and one resident reiterated that concern at Wednesday's meeting.

"Last year was like Vietnam," said the woman, who then added that the fireworks have already returned this year — long before the start of the July 4 holiday.

"It's been going on for over two weeks," the woman said, adding that the fireworks have been particularly prevalent around Sherman Avenue and Academy Street in Inwood.

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