I have been following the concerns being voiced lately over what appears to be our city’s lack of ability to control the onslaut of loud, irratating and offfensive music and sounds coming from a small number of vehicles as they drive through our streets and hang out in our parking lots. I have lived on south Main street for two years and have listened to this get progressively worse as time has gone by.
This past spring I would sit on my front patio in the afternoons, it was quite pleasant until I would start to hear a loud vibrational thumping sound, as the sound got closer a car passed by I could then tell that it was loud music. This happened every five to ten minutes for the rest of the afternoon. As time went by I noticed that it was the same vehicles riding by over and over again. This tells us that this is a small and isolated problem that should be able to be easily corrected This same sound comes into my house and at times is so loud that it vibrates all my windows. On two separate occasions I pulled into the Fred’s parking lot and could hear loud thumping and vibrational sounds coming from a car parked in the parking lot. As I walked by I noticed that there wasn’t even anyone in it. The owner of the car was actually inside Fred’s shopping! On another occasion I was walking back from the ball field with my then seven year old daughter. As we came up to Main street there there was a car parked at the gas pump at Tabacco World with the doors open, all the windows down and vulgar, obsene and negative music was being loudly pumped into the surrounding area. As we walked past my daughter hearing words she had never heard before asked what several of them meant before we finally walked far enough away to be out of ear shot. This one infuriated me! It is my responsibility as a parent to decide what my child is exposed to, and that day she heard things that she never would have heard otherwise. Another time I was at the red light at the Sprint Mart and another car was across from me with the music up so loud the car looked like it was breathing. The sound was so loud I could hear it inside my car with the windows rolled up and the stereo on. A police officer pulled up next to this car and I was sure that he would pull him over and write him a ticket, but he didn’t even look at the person driving and when the light changed the car turned and went on his way.
I have heard that this issue is hard to address because it is hard to measure the decimal level at the time it is happening. However, I don’t feel that this should be an issue. The fact is that this irrating condition that has taken over our city is simply a public nuisance and should be treated as such. The complacency of the police department sends the signal to these people as well as us that this is acceptable and what they want for our city, and is beyond belief.
This past Friday night as I came home about 10:30 there were two suv’s in front of the old beauty shop by the car wash on Main street. They had the back open and had pulled out their deck chairs and were having a tailgate party right there in the parking lot. About 11:15 I walked outside to let my dog out and heard what sounded like someone fighting. It was the tailgaters still there, only now they were all up talking loudly and yelling. As I stood there another car pulled up and the music started up so I called the police and explained the situation. The dispatcher told me he would send someone out to make them disperse. The car with the loud music left and a few minutes later a police car rode by about 30 mpr, but he did not stop or even slow down. The situation continued on, a car would drive by and honk, the girls would yell, the car would pull over and it would get even louder. I called the police again and told the dispatcher that the police car had driven by, but had not stopped. He told me that the officer was busy and would get there when he could. I stayed on the proch and about ten minutes later the police car came by again but did not stop or even slow down. About this time the girls started yelling in the street and running onto Brownie Crawfords property and back to the car. I called the police again and told the dispatcher that the police officer had driven by a second time but had not stopped. He told me that the officer had told him that he had driven by and there was nothing going on and no reason to stop. I told the dispatcher that I was a citizen of Water Valley calling my local police department for the third time at what was now midnight because I was being kept awake by people having a tailgate party in the parking lot next door, and that while I was being kept awake I would be writing my own letter stating that our local police department can’t be counted on to do it’s job. I told him that he needed to get the officer over there and make them leave. I waited on the porch. In about five minutes the police car came back and pulled up past the cars and people. He did not get out of his car, but rolled down his passenger window and called to them. The girls walked over to his car and they talked for a minute, he drove off and they stayed. I gave up and went to bed finally falling asleep to the sounds of yelling and thumping.
I can see at least one simple solution that doesn’t even require the city to buy unmarked police cars for survailance. All they have to do is back into a stall at the car wash in the evenings. First of all it would eliminate people partying in parking lot, but also if the officer could hear the vibrating and thumping sound before the car actually passes by (which is a public nuisance as it benefits no one except the driver while it inflicts it’s botherson tones and vibrations on everyone as he passed by) then it is too loud and disturbing to all and should be addressed as such. The fact that the officer refused to address this complaint makes a statement of it’s own. I hope that our continued collective opinions on this issue will help our police department to take a stand on this matter. Again, it is for the most part the same seven to ten cars riding up and down our streets every day. It shouldn’t be that hard.