Like cities across Connecticut this spring, Hartford has seen a rise in illegal fireworks and outlined new enforcement plans on Wednesday.
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin described the fireworks this year as "unprecedented."
"It's dangerous and it's affecting the lives of all of our residents," Bronin said.
Residents can now call a dedicated line at 860-757-0000 or text 860-294-8233 to report fireworks in Hartford.
A team of dedicated officers will be working overnight to respond to fireworks complaints. The mayor asked residents to provide specific information about when and where fireworks are being set off and to try to do it in real-time as it's happening.
"This is serious stuff, guys," Bronin said. "It really does hurt people, it really does hurt the community."
The mayor said the fireworks are keeping families up at night and impacting veterans who suffer from PTSD.
"We take this seriously," he said. "We understand what a significant quality of life issue this is."
Police Chief Jason Thody said violators could face a misdemeanor summons though depending on the nature of the fireworks, some could face felony arrest.
"In 24 years, I don't know that I've ever seen it like this, even on Fourth of July weekend," Thody said."
Hartford Fire Chief Reginald Freeman said the fireworks could catch a building or vegetation on fire.
"These are explosives and they are banned in this city for a reason," Freeman said."
Hartford's police, fire and emergency services & telecommunications departments are collaborating to be able to respond to fireworks in real time, the city announced in a press release.
“A lot of municipalities elected to postpone or cancel their fireworks altogether. So, I think we’re seeing a lot of people essentially creating their own fireworks shows, unfortunately,” he said.
“It’s awful. It’s really awful,” said a frustrated Dawn Anderson, who lives on Hartford’s southwest side. “The sound is so close you think it’s coming through the window.”
Anderson, her sister Judy Williamson and their elderly mother have lived in the same White Street house for 30-years.
Recently, their quiet life on Hartford’s White Street has been disturbed daily and nightly by the sound of fireworks.
“I shake. Sometimes I think I’m having a heart attack because I think it is gunshot or something,” said Williamson.
She said their 81-year-old mother is so scared she wants to move.