Chief Says Weekend Patrol Shifts to be Dedicated to Noise Complaints
By: Tom Duggan and Jon Bergeron – May 24, 2014
Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera, flanked by Police Chief Fitzpatrick and more than a dozen Lawrence Police Officers stood on the steps of the Lawrence Police Department Saturday and announced a new crackdown on noise in the troubled city.
According to statistics released by the mayor, Lawrence police received 1,345 noise or disturbance complaints last summer from June to the end of August. “It can’t be tolerated anymore,” Rivera said.
“Noise complaints are a symptom of lawlessness in this city. People do not care that they are disturbing others with their music because they think the authorities do not care, and they can’t do anything about it” said Rivera.
“That, then becomes a problem for us and that has to stop now. All residents and visitors of Lawrence will be held to the letter of the law with regard to our noise ordinances to ensure that our quality of life here in Lawrence is not at risk.”
Starting May 23rd, Lawrence Police will have one patrol car with two officers patrolling the city from Friday through Sunday between the hours of 9PM-2AM. The noise car operation will play a key role in the summer street crime prevention initiative that began last week.
Rivera says that the “noise car” operation will enforce all noise ordinances. When a noise complaint is reported, the offender will get an automatic two hundred dollar fine as well as an automatic court summons.
“Our enforcement efforts will have a zero tolerance policy on noise complaints,” Police Chief James Fitzpatrick said.
“The hope is that this operation will be successful and we will be able to continue these efforts through the summer.”
In another Summer Street Crime Prevention Initiative that the mayor called a “quality of life” sweep, Rivera and a few dozen police officers went door to door in what the mayor called, the Tarbox School Community Engagement Initiative.
Police went door to door to educate the public on suspicious behavior, and how to report it. The mayor says that the Summer Crime Prevention Initiative led to 44 arrests last week.
The mayor also released crime numbers from June to august, 2013 which showed that in that three month summer period there were zero murders, 6 rapes, 59 robberies, 131 aggravated assaults, 106 residential burglaries, 51 commercial burglaries, 109 larcenies, and 276 auto thefts and 1,345 noise or disturbance complaints.
Mayor Rivera said during his campaign last fall that if elected he intended to take on noise violations and what he called “quality of life issues” that he said “leads to much more serious crimes.”
“The one thing people have to understand is that letting the little things slide by, ends up with bigger problems for the city down the road. If we take care of the quality of life issues like noise complaints what you see is fewer confrontations, fewer assaults and other crimes. People who think this is just an issue of noise are not thinking that through. While some people see these minor crimes as not worth our time to deal with given the other problems Lawrence has, you have to think long term, plan long term, and stop the small things from becoming bigger problems down the road.”
The mayor released the following information on the initiatives taking place in Lawrence.
Lawrence Summer Street Crime Prevention Initiatives:
Targeted Neighborhood Engagement Operations
* Tarbox School Neighborhood & Others-600 Community Contacts, 2 warrant arrests, 30 vehicle stops
*Building Neighborhood Association Infrastructure
Strategic Crime Spike Taskforces
* February Armed Robbery Taskforce- 42% drop in armed robberies
* Community Engagement
* Added patrols and Park & Walks
Hotspot Sweeps – Focused on prostitution arrests and narcotics violations, using local, state and federal law enforcement resources-Broadway Sweep netted 44 arrests.
Nuisance Property Enforcement- Working with Inspectional Services to ID properties with the highest police calls for service and ensure the property is up to code.
Noise Ordinance Enforcement – Zero tolerance noise pollution ticketing, and enforcement
To report loud music or noise complaints, please send an email with address/location of noise to firstname.lastname@example.org