The Fourth of July fireworks show at Jones Beach has been cancelled for the second year in a row due to insufficient state police.
Officials said the show is in danger of never returning if the state does not train more state park officers.
The resurrection of the holiday show will depend on whether enough new police officers can graduate from the New York State Police Academy, according to New York State Parks spokesman George Gorman.
"We currently have 56 state police on Long Island; there isn't enough to ensure the safety of everyone at an event like this," Gorman said. "Fourth of July weekend is the busiest weekend we see, state wide, not just on Long Island. We need enough security, or else we unfortunately can't have it."
Gorman said the last police class to graduate from the academy was in 2008. The number of state police on Long Island has decreased from last year, which was 60. Statewide, the number has decreased from 248 to 231. The Department of Environmental Conservation has 254 officers throughout the state, 28 of which are on Long Island, according to Gorman. They also have 115 rangers statewide, with only five being stationed on Long Island.
Gorman said the reason for the loss of state police on Long Island is due to officers switching to other agencies and retirements. The fireworks show had been held annually at Jones Beach from the mid 90's until it was cancelled last year. The holiday event had become a landmark and memorable tradition at Jones Beach.It used to be a Fireworks extravaganza above the shores of Jones Beach State Park simulcast to a musical array of patriotic songs. 9:30pm