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Alderman & Cops Declare War on Street Noise

MPD, police

New Ordinance Would Allow Citizen Complaints Against Nuisance Noise Violators; Also – "Operation Bass Busters" Set to Restart

A new ordinance sponsored by 14 members of the Milwaukee Common Council would allow Milwaukee citizens to lodge complaints against owners of vehicles blasting excessively loud music or sounds generated by car stereos by simply providing a license plate number, the date and time of the violation and their name and contact information, Ald. Bob Donovan, the measure’s principal sponsor, said today.

"Throughout this city loud car stereos rattle our windows and completely disrupt the peaceful enjoyment of our homes and neighborhoods, and this ordinance empowers the people of this community to – for a change – take action themselves to put a lid on it," said Ald. Donovan, chair of the Common Council’s Public Safety Committee, which will take up the proposed ordinance during its meeting at 9 a.m. Thursday (May 8, 2008) in room 301-B at City Hall, 200 E. Wells St.

The new ordinance would mirror the city’s nuisance property ordinance, which allows the city to issue tickets and fines to property owners when police are called to investigate multiple complaints at a home or building.

Under the nuisance vehicle loud noise ordinance, the owner of a vehicle that is the subject of a loud stereo complaint would receive a warning for the first complaint but would be charged for the cost of enforcement on any subsequent complaints, meaning fines of at least $100 could be levied for each subsequent occurrence.

"With the nuisance property ordinance, any unpaid fines or charges go directly on the owner’s property tax bill," Ald. Donovan said. "Under this ordinance, charges and fines will go directly to the owner of the vehicle – no matter who might have been driving at the time of the violation."

Co-sponsors of the ordinance include Ald. Joe Dudzik, Ald. Robert W. Puente, Ald. Robert J. Bauman, Ald. Tony Zielinski, Ald. Jim Bohl, Ald. Willie L. Hines, Jr., Ald. Willie C. Wade, Ald. Joe Davis, Sr., Ald. Michael J. Murphy, Ald. Ashanti Hamilton, Ald. Terry L. Witkowski, Ald. Nik Kovac, and Ald. James N. Witkowiak.

Operation Bass Busters, which allows officers to target vehicles with excessively loud car stereos using special decibel-measuring detectors, is being re-started as another tool to help curb noise violators, Ald. Donovan said. "People may think an (Operation Bass Busters) patrol is enforcing speed limits with a radar gun when they’re really looking for offending vehicles blasting music and brain-numbing bass lines," he said.

This information was obtained from a City of Milwaukee Press Release 

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