HAVERHILL — Starting this weekend, police will be on noise patrol.
“Officers will be out with noise meters monitoring sound levels and taking appropriate action,” Deputy Chief Donald Thompson said. “This is nothing new, we see this every year.”
Officers who’ve been assigned to patrol the downtown on Thursday through Saturday nights will be using sound level meters to help determine if anyone is in violation of city noise ordinances.
The city’s public safety committee was asked to look into a complaint by one downtown resident of loud motorcycles and cars with loud exhausts disrupting otherwise quiet evenings. Washington Street resident Michael Dello Iacono sent councilors an email indicating he’s been complaining about the problem for years but the city has not responded.
Dello Iacono said the bikers rev up their engines, which he believes have after-market exhaust systems that are much louder than factory standard equipment.
Thompson said this special downtown patrol is paid for by a state grant that State Rep. Brian Dempsey and Haverhill’s legislative delegation secured for the city last year to patrol inner-city crime hot spots, including the Mount Washington and Acre areas.
“During the good weather, we meet with neighborhood groups and by far the number one concern is when the bars close and groups of people congregate on sidewalks and in alleyways and are being loud and wake people up,” Thompson said.
City Councilor Michael McGonagle, chairman of the public safety committee, said Dello Iacono isn’t the first person to complain about noise in the downtown.
He said Dello Iacono’s concerns were discussed at the June 17 City Council meeting and the matter was sent to the public safety committee for study.
“We have to find a way to get some police resources allocated to the problem,” McGonagle said.