Chesterfield County police seeing results of new noise ordinance

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – Don't you dare boost up the volume. Now armed with better restrictions and a hefty fine, Chesterfield police says the new and improved noise ordinance is paying off. For Major Karl Leonard the proof is in the paper.

"It's significant. We get quite a number of these calls every year," said Chesterfield Police Department Major Karl Leonard.

Police get thousands of calls and since September, when the new noise ordinance took effect, they now have better tools to get the volume down.

"Now we have very objective measurements, distances, times which is very defendable and gives us a lot more opportunity to write these summonses and have them go to court and the individual be found guilty," he said.

Leonard says October 2008, police issued 7 citations. Flash forward to October of this year and it's more than tripled to 27. The old ordinance tacked a fine of $25. Now, it's a whole lot more.

"Now it's a fine of not less than $100 or more than $500," said Leonard.

Resident Patricia Meriwether asks... Can't we all just get along?

"I think we need to all learn to respect each other and I think a better way to handle it is: talk to your neighbor," said Patricia.

John McColman won't be putting the new ordinance to use.

"I didn't realize there was such a problem in the county. In my neighborhood and where I've been I haven't detected any special problems or anything out of the ordinary," he said.

Though he does admit to blasting a tune or two. Now that he may have to fork over more than an average car payment, he's thinking twice.

"It wouldn't be for me. That's a lot of money, that's a lot of money. Especially nowadays," said McColman.

Police say if it takes a knock from the cops to keep things quiet, they are happy to do it.

"I think it's fantastic. I think it's a very good ordinance. It put us in the position where we can enforce this with some back bone," Leonard said.

The old ordinance was thrown out for being too subjective. Police say this new ordinance, with its clear definitions, is here to stay.

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