Upham's Corner Online

Boston Police Say: Quality-of-Life Issues - Call 911

Posted: July 10, 2012     Nancy J Conrad


Boston Police Badge The July 10, 2012 meeting of the Uphams Corner Westside neighborhood Association (UCWNA) began with a lengthy discussion of noise problems in the neighborhood - a week long barrage of fireworks explosions, in some cases, lasting until the wee hours of the morning and two problem properties - 32 Monadnock Street and 60 Alexander Street. 

A Virginia Street resident opened the conversation by saying she did not want to "bother" the police with non-emergency phone calls (quality-of-life).  The police officer substituting for Community Services Officer Marie Miller (on vacation) stated emphatically:  "Please realize that you don't 'bother' the police. That's our job. If it's something that's affecting you and your quality of life, then it's probably affecting the quality of life for the people around you as well. You need to call 911."

60 Alexander St

"You get the impression," said one resident that 60 Alexander St is being used as a "club.” You can hear the sound of many (25) people talking, followed by loud music from patio blasters that are directed towards the train tracks (back of the property).  Trouble is:  The blasted music is impacting residents who live on Monadnock Street on the other side of the tracks who get the full brunt of the sound.

A quick conversation with residents living adjacent to 60 Alexander Street yielded a different picture.  "No, there never has been a problem.  We've lived here for 17 years and they have been here for 7 years.  The police have never been here."  They did note, however, that the residents at #60 do have "family" gatherings on occasion.

32 Monadnock St

A similar description applies to 32 Monadnock St.  Patio blasters in the backyard of #32 are pointed away from Monadnock St which means they point directly to the backyards of adjacent homes on Virginia St.  Four Virginia Street residents independently complained about the horrific sound that comes from this property.  UC News spoke with a couple residents who live on Monadnock St.  Does this property cause any problems for you?  The answer was "yes" though the level of agitation seemed to be less for these people.  After all, the blasters are not pointed their way, yet they were all still bothered by the loud music.

The Westside residents say they will continue to make phone calls to 911 regarding the noise, loud music and other quality-of-life issues stemming from these sites. They have asked that Alexander Street be added to the monthly police report and that Officer Miller gather data on the number of 911 calls that have occurred against the two addresses identified.

60 Alexander St
60 Alexander St
32 Monadnock St
32 Monadnock St

More Discussion

One of the more difficult music situations to deal with is "street jamming." A car drives up, rolls down all the windows, turns the music up as far as it will go, then leaves the vehicle to visit a friend in the neighborhood while "everybody" is supposed to be enjoying the blasting music.  After some time - long enough to bother the residents - the car leaves. If you call the police, by the time they arrive, the car will be gone.  Call them anyway especially if you have the license number of the car.

The only way to deal with the situation, experienced residents stated, is to make a commitment to call 911 as soon as a problem arises and to stay on top of it until the police take care of the problem.  The police officer added:  "Please do not be hesitant to call 911 because you think that your identity will be revealed.  It will not be.  Calling 911 is the appropriate thing to do"

The residents said they were frustrated.  As soon as the police leave, the music goes right back up again. So what do you do?  "If you call enough times, you will eventually get the police officer to tell the offending party:  "If you don't stop the loud music, we will take your equipment away."

How are multiple visits by the police handled? The first visit is a warning. On the second visit, the resident is told they will be give a citation for being in violation of a city noise ordinance. That's usually enough to cause the loud music to cease.

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