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Tallahassee Police request changes to the city’s noise ordinance

Posted at 10:35 PM, Feb 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-17 19:43:02-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — It's a constant issue the Tallahassee Police Department said is linked to illegal activities and violence, those large late night gatherings called "Parking Lot Parties".

"The homicide we had at the rattler service station at Orange Avenue and Springhill road," said Deputy Chief Maurice Holmes of the Tallahassee Police Department. "That was the situation where they had a large crowd that gathered, and consistently gathered."

Those parties were made popular when businesses like clubs and bars were forced to close at the start of the pandemic.

TPD created a crowd control task force to address the issue in October of 2020. The department said they want the city to give them more authority with changes to the current noise ordinance.

Under the city's current noise ordinance, TPD would have to get a businesses permission to issue a trespassing notice to a crowd.

The department said at times it means closing a business for a night and the parties relocate somewhere else.

"Our citizens are calling and complaining because this noise is disrupting their rest and interfering with their quality of life," said Holmes.

When it comes to those trouble areas, Deputy Chief Maurice Holmes says Apalachee Parkway, Gaines Street and Railroad Avenue have been areas where those parties have led to violence.

The department is proposing two plans. Both would allow officers to enforce standards and disperse crowds and increase penalties for violators, along with holding businesses owners responsible for large gatherings on their property.

Mr. Bill's Barbershop is located off E. Lafayette Street.

"I have to pay insurance to cover the whole property," said Bill. "And as a business owner this is something you have to pay monthly. So it's very expensive if something happens."

He says he's put up no trespassing signs, but crowds have still rolled over into his parking lot from other nearby parties.

For people like Bill, giving police more options to control crowds will bring him more peace of mind.

The Tallahassee City Commission will hear the noise ordinance options on Wednesday afternoon.