JAMESTOWN – Earlier this month, Jamestown City Councilman At-Large Jeff Russell brought attention to an ongoing issue of the illegal discharge of fireworks within the city limits.
Russell doubled down on his concerns during the Council’s Work Session meeting at City Hall Monday evening. The former Jamestown Police officer told the Council that he has discussed options with Corporation Counsel Elliot Raimondo and Police Chief Tim Jackson.
The Councilman explains that the trio discussed amending the City Code by doubling the fines for the first offense, while adjusting the language to mirror New York State Penal Laws regarding the possession of fireworks.
“The issues is now, officers respond to some of these calls, and often when they get there, the fireworks are over but the people could still be in possession of them,” Russell said. “If there was a street check done by an officer, and somebody was found to be in possession of them, then they can be charged under the local law if that language was changed or under the New York State Penal Law charges.’
Russell additionally explains that he advised Jackson to remind his officers to remain vigilant for any smaller children that could be around adults who are illegally lighting off fireworks. Russell says that adults found to have illegally discharged fireworks with children present could face one or more charges of endangering the welfare of a child.
The Council would need to approve any proposed changes to the City Code.