HONOLULU (KHON2) — Some Oahu residents are growing frustrated with illegal fireworks going off in their neighborhood and are dreading that it will get worse as the holidays approach.
There is a new weapon in the fight against illegal fireworks, and officials are hoping it will make a difference.
Residents in Central and West Oahu said it has become a regular annoyance in the past few weeks, as loud booms erupt in their neighborhood. They don’t want to be identified but they definitely want something done about it.
“It’s definitely frightening. It definitely startles the dogs. It startles the kids. It wakes us up depending on what time it was. One time it was like two o’clock in the morning,” said a Kapolei resident.
And with Honolulu firefighters already busy battling a wildfire in Mililani Mauka, residents are afraid that the fireworks might ignite even more fires.
“The point is the environment is tinder dry and very high risk for fires. And I don’t know, it’s just not registering I guess,” said an Ewa Beach resident.
The state put together the Illegal Fireworks Task Force this year led by the Department of Law Enforcement. It includes law enforcement agencies from the federal, state, and the county levels, and the director said it has already seen a difference since the task force started four months ago.
“It’s been fairly successful, we’ve seized over 2,000 pounds of illegal firework so far and we’re gonna continue to do more,” said Jordan Lowe, head of the Illegal Fireworks Task Force.
Lowe said the investigations depend highly on intelligence from all the law enforcement agencies, and the focus is on trying to stop the fireworks from coming here.
“We focus on all sources, all points of entry,” said Lowe.
“Meaning?” asked KHON2 News.
“Meaning it could be over water, or it could be over air, again it’s based on the intelligence that we gather,” said Lowe.
Lowe said it will take a little more time. But he’s hopeful that the task force will make a difference.
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“I have a lot of confidence in the illegal fireworks task force. I have good people assigned to it and they have a strategy. I think it will be effective,” he said.