Allentown issues just 1 fireworks citation on July 4 with mayor saying ‘consequences coming’

  • During the vacation, Mayor Matt Tuerk of Allentown stated that there would be “repercussions forthcoming” for offenders, but according to Allentown Police, there was only one citation issued in connection with fireworks during the holiday.
  • It is illegal to set off fireworks within a city park without a city permit or within 150 feet of a building.
  • Capt. Alicia Conjour of the Allentown police said that in most cases, officers still need to issue citations in order to maintain order and ensure the safety of those observing fireworks on the 4th of July.
  • In response to the video footage captured by a reporter showing multiple non-professional fireworks being launched near Allentown’s Crum Birney J. Stadium, Mayor Tuerk issued a statement denouncing the reckless and foolish act.

    “Nineteen of those calls were specifically related to fireworks,” stated Allentown Police Chief Charles Roca in an email on Thursday, revealing that the city’s communication center received a total of 335 calls throughout the holiday.

    “And one of those calls led to a citation for a traffic violation,” Roca mentioned.

    Roca stated that the highest count of complaints documented for the day was 82, specifically with regards to the problem of loud music causing excessive noise.

    Roca mentioned that infractions related to fireworks would originate from the fireworks regulation of the city, which declares:.

  • Initial offense: a penalty of at least $50 but not exceeding $100;
  • Second offense: a penalty of at least $100 and no more than $300; and.
  • Third and each subsequent violation: a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 or 30 days’ imprisonment, or both.
  • Roca stated that there were 521 calls received throughout the day on July 4th last year, while there were only 269 calls received on the same day in 2021. He mentioned that the information received from those calls was helpful in reporting specific location-based violations, which enabled the enforcement of the city’s ordinances.

    Roca stated that he would like all visitors and members of our community in Allentown, PA, to have a safe and enjoyable holiday by complying with the ordinances and laws of the city and the Commonwealth of PA.

    Roca did not directly reply to Tuerk’s statement about the repercussions for offenders at the time of publication.

    Police officials from Easton and Bethlehem did not respond to requests for fireworks enforcement data, thus making it impossible to provide the research and compilation for such information in time for publication.

    Enforcement challenges anticipated

    Captain Alicia Conjour of the Allentown Police said that in most cases, officers will still need to issue citations to individuals who are observed lighting fireworks in anticipation of the July 4th holiday.

    Conjour stated, “Taking into account the entirety of the circumstances relevant to the occurrence, the determination to grant or withhold a citation will be made on an individual basis.” Conjour affirmed, “Throughout the holiday weekend, we will persist in implementing these rules to the utmost of our capacity.”

    Allentown’s Facebook Page warned that setting off fireworks within 150 feet of a building can lead to fines exceeding $1,000 and a jail sentence of up to 30 days. They strongly advised individuals to entrust fireworks to trained experts.

    Various noteworthy changes to the fireworks law in Pennsylvania came into effect last year after the 74 Act was signed into law, making it the first law to be passed after Independence Day.

    Residents of Pennsylvania can purchase and use consumer-grade explosive materials, such as rockets, bottle or Roman candles, and firecrackers, as long as they contain less than 50.

    Obtaining a permit from the municipality is necessary for professional-grade fireworks.

    Updates indicate that fireworks are: