Noise ordinance crackdown coming

Published 12:38 am Wednesday, March 21, 2012

As the temperatures begin their inevitable march higher, so to, it seems, the volume of car radios seem to find their way getting louder this time of year.

In an effort to curtail on what is a seasonal increase in the number of noise ordinance complaints and violations, the Selma City Council Tuesday asked city police to begin developing a plan now to focus on the issue.

“Hopefully through this strategic effort, Chief (William T.) Riley will come up with a plan where we can let the citizens know that we will be cracking down and enforcing this code wholeheartedly,” Ward 8 council member Corey Bowie said. “I hope we can do public service announcements to make citizens aware that we will be cracking down. With the warmer weather, more people are outside, more activities are planned and this is a quality of life issue.”

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Following the meeting, Riley said his department will be working immediately on first collecting data on where noise complaints have traditionally come from and focus on those areas first.

“We are going to continue to monitor the calls that come through dispatch and go back and look over the past several months and begin plotting where those calls are coming from,” Riley said. “And, we’re going to go back to previous years at this time — May, June, July — and that will give us an idea of where to start placing our focus.”

Riley echoed Bowie’s belief strongly enforcing the city’s noise ordinance — which first-time violators could face a $250 fine — is a quality of life issue.

“Now that winter has come through like a blink of an eye and spring is right on us, and summer is really already here, we are going to start heavy enforcement because those causing these problems affect the quality of life in some areas,” Riley said.

Some of the areas Bowie said he hoped police focus their attention are in residential areas in his ward such as the Plant, Perham and Gray Street areas.

As for Riley, he said the department will also look at many of the apartment complexes as areas for increased patrols.

“We know a lot of times, around our apartment complexes, people tend to want to play their music loud,” Riley said. “So, what we’ll do is go back and look at where we’ve received most of the calls and it’s those areas we might begin our focus.”

Riley said that in addition to research, the department will deploy more patrols to potential areas and change up the number and personnel patrolling certain areas.

“The whole key is that it comes down to being good citizens,” Riley said. “Be aware of if you’re driving through someone’s neighborhood and you’ve got the music so loud you can’t even hear yourself. That’s the whole key, is for people to be good citizens.”