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Sunnyside police to crack down on noise violators

The boom-boom-boom of a loud stereo in the city of Sunnyside will result in a misdemeanor fine of up to $500.

That's according to Sunnyside Police Chief Ed Radder, who at last night's city council meeting pledged to more actively pursue violators of the city's noise ordinance.

"We can do a better job of enforcement so people can have more peace and tranquillity," he said.

He noted the ordinance applies whether a car or home stereo music or bass bothers a home or business, or whether it's the car stereo four cars in front of you at a stop light. The crackdown also applies to buildings rented out for parties.

The city ordinance, adopted in 1984, doesn't measure noise by a decibel system, but according to whether it can be heard 50 feet away. "If you can hear the sound more than 50 feet away it's too loud," Radder said.

As part of the crackdown, Radder said officers will pursue those who turn up the bass on a stereo so loud it "rattles the window molding."

The discussion at last night's council meeting stemmed from a request by Councilman Bill Gant. "Noise is an ongoing problem here," he said.

To highlight the increased problem, Radder said the department has fielded 111 loud music complaints so far this year, compared to 64 at this point in 2006.

And, Radder notes, the problem may be even worse than that, as he thinks many people are not filing official complaints about loud music because they think there's nothing that can be done.

That's not the case now.

"Just because they didn't get a ticket last week doesn't mean they won't get one this week," Radder said of offenders.

To that end, Radder later said that if a motorist is playing music too loud, local residents should jot down the license plate number and call police so officers can pursue the motorist in case he or she has left the area by the time law enforcement arrives.

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