Nov 20, 2012

When do officers enforce noise complaints?

Hi! I was actually wondering if you could find out for me in the city of Sandusky how many times that the cops have to be called out to a house with a noise complaint before they actually do something about it other then tell them to turn it down a notch. I live next to these neighbors who blast their music so loud each and every single night to the point that it some times wakes my little children up. I call the cops every night and nothing is ever done about it because they turn it down and the next day they are doing the same thing the very next night. They have no respect for any one that lives around them. Thanks — Dawn in Sandusky

Our police reporter Emil Whitis stops by the Sandusky police station every day to collect reports for the police blotter, so I asked him to talk to an officer about your question. Here are a few tips he got about noise complaints:

1. Make sure you tell the dispatcher about your previous complaints when you call in a new one. It might help to write down the times and dates of complaints you call in, so you can back up your record of making complaints.  It's important to tell the dispatcher about the previous incidents so officers know they're dealing with a repeat noise offender before they arrive at the location. And, if you get a chance to talk to the officers when they arrive, make sure you reinforce with them you've called many times. (Editor's note: If you really want to get serious about documenting this problem, you can go to Sandusky police department during normal business hours and request all of the incident reports regarding noise complaints you've made. That way when officers ask how many times you've called you can show them the stack of reports. This might also be helpful to see what officers actually told your neighbors when they made contact with them, and if there was a citation issued.)

2. The officers actually have to hear the noise themselves before they can issue a citation. So don't alert your neighbors to the fact you're calling the cops. If all is quiet when the officers arrive, they can't do anything about the complaint.

3. There is no magic number for when officers will write a ticket for a noise violation. As you noted, officers will typically just ask the violators to keep it down. If officers have to go to a house twice or more in a single week though, there's a greater likelihood the noisy neighbors will get a ticket.

Hope this helps!

The Mailbag is a daily feature on Every weekday at noon, we will post one question-and-answer from a resident. To ask a question, send a letter to The Mailbag at 314 W. Market St., or e-mail Please include your first name and a location in the e-mail, e.g. “John from Decatur Street."



Maybe instead of calling the cops like a little sissy, just walk over and ask them to turn it down. People are so quick to call the cops on someone instead of being a adult about it. Then after calling the cops day after day does nothing, you write into the Register to try and solve your problem. Be an adult, or have your husband/baby daddy go talk to them. The last thing I would do is call the cops on my neighbor. Good grief!!!


Calling the cops is not "sissy." It's good sense. The kind of person who commits this sort of incivility, especially repeatedly, is not generally receptive to a polite requests. There are two likely outcomes, and both of them are bad. They either ignore the request, or worse, respond with beligerence that could escalate.

The Mailbag's reponse is disappointing. Sandusky has a detailed noise ordinance with quantitative limits that considers time of day and other circumstances (Chapter 519 - Noise Control, see link below.) The fine is $300 for the first offense and $500 thereafter. Each day is a seperate offense, and the ordinance supports civil action, too.

The ordinance requires the City Manager to appoint a Noise Control Administrator, so a victim should also ask to talk to that person in addition to filing a complaint.

People tend to dismiss these problems as trivial, but they contribute to decline of neighborhoods and chase good people away. The police should know better than to blow off noise complaints.

519 The whole ordinance:

519.06 Maximum sound levels and times:

519.99 Penalties:


I'm not saying thats all you do. Just saying that should step #1. I guess now that everyones entitled to everything, they dont have to talk to their neighbors, the police owe it to them to settle simple, trivial issues. This lady is sissy


Have you met her neighbors? Have you met her? I happen to agree with Dawn, there are just some people YOU don't confront on your own.


I had originally typed her or her husband should go talk to them. The moderator didnt like it.

Sarah Weber

I reviewed you comments, rickross2. I don't think they violate our commenting policy so I restored them. Thanks!


There was no reason to call the author of the letter a sissy.


Oh, I see. BUt maybe she's by herself.


You have no clue how many times she might have already asked the neighbor to keep it down.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).




I have to agree with rickross2. While some people just plain don't care about anyone but themselves, others have no idea how much the noise is carrying beyond their own windows. I've had problems with noise, too, and, with the exception of one pair of winners, everyone was apologetic and immediately lowered the volume.

One notable exception: If you're AFRAID (beyond shyness, I mean, or just not wanting to rock the boat), call the police. It isn't worth getting hit or worse just to see if you can turn the music down!


Ya think maybe when the windows rattle it's a little loud.

When ya can hear or feel the vibrations two blocks away ... it's too loud..

I lived across from this one guy who KNEW it was too loud.. He did it to annoy the rest of us... Then his house was foreclosed on :)

Oh, happy day! Guess maybe, he should have spent the money on his bills rather than the high dollar sound system.


I completely agree with Rick Ross 100 percent


I would be careful saying stuff like that!


Love your neighbors :) you never know u might need a cup of sugar one day and they might close the door in your face.


In my neighborhood, we watch out for each other. If I see someone that doesnt look on the up and up in my neighborhood, I walk right up to them, introduce myself, and ask if I can help them. I dont peek out the window and call the cops. Be social people, good grief. Dora gets it :-)


That's real easy for a guy to say.

BW1's picture

What a sexist sentiment


Too bad, it's the truth, and no more so than what rick posted. Did you jump on him?

Most women aren't gonna go confront those people , most especially, if it's a pattern with them.

Don S

Most of the time, when people repeatadly play their music loud, after the police have been there, they are looking for a confrontation. So, calling the police is the safe and correct thing to do. Not everyone wants to be a good neighbor.


@ dora ...Then I dare YOU to go over to those neighbors and ask them to turn the music down. I dare ya. No body borrows sugar anymore.


What exactly is "the up and up"? What do you do when they say "no thank you" and keep walking? Unless they are on your property or committing a crime, it is none of your business.
The music has to be either REALLY loud or your homes are very close to each other to wake up the kids. It's really about respect. I would have no problem asking my neighbor to turn down the volume so my kids can rest. FYI...if you need sugar Krogers sells it!


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


LOL, Brings back a memory of a neighbor with a new CB radio that would block the TV all night long by transmiting through the antenas. Dad walked over with a pair of side cutters and snipped his antena cable in two places...

The guy was a cop but not a word was ever said, he only played on it after us kids were in bed from then on.


You can buy sugar at Krogers? Really? I am gonna have to go see that for myself... I meant hypothetical sugar. But thank you for the referral I didn't realize. #onelove


If I hear music in my house from the neighbor's house, you better well believe it I'm calling the cops, right now. As Dawn said, every night the music is up loud enough to wake the kids....sorry Jack, ain't happening.


I agree with you rickross have you seen the crime rate in sandusky lately 6 murders robberies and so on and you calling about a noise complaint that not even worth the call when you can atleast talk to them first but instead you call the cops i would do it just too make you and if the police came everytime then i know my plan worked if you talk to them and let them know the situtation i probably sure they will work with you cause calling the cops might make them think you got other issues with them since you couldnt come out and talk to them and who to say that even if they did get a ticket that they gone stop i know plenty people tickets and still play they music loud all you doing is creating a enemy thats going to hate you more and more everytime you call the police


I don't know if I would call Sandusky's crime rate bad, for a town this size it's not good but a bad crime rate is Cleveland or Toledo or Orlando Fl. After living in FL for 18 months I have no problem walking around downtown at any hour of the night, or even down Hancock street.


Actually, if you look at the numbers, Sandusky's violent crime rate (per 1,000 in population) is higher than Clevelands.