JONES BEACH - The Fourth of July fireworks at Jones Beach have been canceled for the second year in a row.
The reason for this year's cancellation is lack of park police officers. State Parks officials say they have lost 73 of their officers to other agencies and retirements, including 24 officers on Long Island, and they can no longer safely hold the event.
"July 4 is the busiest day of the year," says New York State Parks spokesman Dan Keefe. "Because it is so busy, we don't have the ability to use staff from other areas like we do on Memorial Day."
Last year, the show was canceled because of state budget problems.
Local residents say they are disappointed that the fireworks show will not be returning this year.
"It's a terrible thing that they had to cancel it," says Jack Groen, of Long Beach.
The fireworks could return to Jones Beach only if the state trains more park police officers, and so far, officials say they have no plans to do that.