Noise violation soon to be enforced

Published 12:01 am Thursday, November 20, 2008

Music lovers with radios that rattle dishes and windows beware, the Picayune Police Department is preparing to write tickets for noise violations.

On Dec. 1, the new noise ordinance will go into effect and officers will begin writing tickets for violations. Chief Jim Luke said the department will not be looking for 100 watt radios as much as systems with enough bass to rattle windows and dishes in homes.

While the volume of the music will be the key ingredient for a citation, loud music with vulgar or obscene language also will be subject to earning the person playing it a citation, Lt. Chad Dorn said. The noise ordinance, found at, also lists a number of other ways the ordinance can be violated, such as any loud vehicle noise not associated with emergency vehicles, construction work after 9 p.m. or before 7 a.m. and others.

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The department will be working to raise awareness of the new ordinance over the next couple of weeks using pamphlets and large signs along the road sides in neighborhoods with the most loud noise complaints. This way the public will be fully aware of the ordinance before it goes into effect on Dec. 1, Dorn said.

Deputy Chief David Ervin and Dorn are responsible for the layout and slogans, respectively, used on the signs and pamphlets, Luke said.

Some of the other rules covered in the ordinance include requiring sound equipment not to be operated within 150 feet of a hospital, school or church in session, nursing home and public library during its hours of operation.

Loud noises can be made after hours, if the proper procedure if followed. Luke said if a citizen plans to have a loud gathering or event past the acceptable hours, he or she can apply for a permit to do so. The ordinance states that applications will be submitted to the Chief of Police and be approved or denied within five days after its receipt. If the application is denied, the chief must provide the reasons why. If it’s approved, the permit will come with a time limit for the activity or noise, and will have a maximum life of 15 consecutive days.

Luke said his decision will take into consideration the location of the event, the time of day and public opinion of the event.

Anyone cited for violating the ordinance will be charged with a misdemeanor and could face a fine of up to $1,000 or serve 90 days in jail. Community service will be an option, but using that option ultimately will be up to the judge, the ordinance states.

A full version of the ordinance can be found at city hall or the Picayune Police Department Web site at Citizens can file a complaint concerning violation of the ordinance at the same Web site.