Enforcing Noise Ordinances in Florida
Patrick K. Dooley
Abstract Florida is changing and growing and as change takes place, law enforcement will be confronted with many issues. Noise ordinance enforcement is an area that traditionally law enforcement has not looked at as a high priority. Quality of life issues are one area that law enforcement may be given the responsibility of enforcing. Something initially viewed as a minor complaint can have serious effects on the residents of a community. Most communities in Florida have a noise ordinance in one form or another. Enforcement of noise ordinances is a science that administrators should look at from a training prospective as well as realistic prosecution. This paper will explore the different types of ordinances as well as the proper equipment to be used.
Introduction As Florida moves into the new millennium, many problems will continue to emerge. Communities are growing as never before, fueled by the large tourism industry. Our woodlands and wetlands are giving way to new developments. New entertainment theme parks open on a regular basis. Beautiful beaches all over Florida have seen dramatic changes. The sand dunes and sea oats are giving way to homes and condominiums. As these changes take place, new problems arise. Bars, restaurants and hotels line the roadways. As these areas expand, they move closer to our residential neighborhoods, exposing sounds of loud music, traffic and machinery to adjacent homes. If gone unchecked by the local governments, the quality of life of the residents will decline. When an agency begins receiving noise complaints, often from a single complainant, it is very easy to classify that individual as overly sensitive, or even a chronic complainer. But the problem goes much deeper than that. We must look at several issues to fully understand the magnitude of the problem of noise. We must first understand the difference between sound, and noise. There are physical and psychological...