Tampa Police cracking down on motorists cranking their music

09/03/09 Mitch E. Perry
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The Tampa City Council today received an update on dealing with complaints about loud music coming from automobiles in the city.

Citizen Clay Daniels came before the council to suggest that the Tampa Police Department should begin sending out so called “soft letters” to such noise violators, as is being done in other local communities.

Major Mark Hamlin is with the Tampa Police Department.. He said the Department is not in favor of adopting the ‘soft letters’ approach to such noise violators. Hamblin said that in St. Petersburg, 35% of the complaints came from one citizen, so they now instituted a policy where they don’t send more than one letter to any motorist.

But the Major said that the TPD has increased their enforcement, and said there had been a 61% increase in written citations of such noise violators this year. Those citations cost motorists $101.

Councilwoman Linda Saul-Sena said she was glad that the Tampa Police Department was taking the issue so seriously. She said she didn’t think that sending out approximately 120 letters per month, the number suggested by Major Hamlin, would be too onerous for the department.

But Councilman John Dingelder said he didn’t think the soft letter campaign would be successful.

But Saul-Sena was still insistent about sending out the soft letters, to the point where she suggested her own staff could collect information from the Police Department to mail them out to violators.

Council chairman Thomas Scott warned Saul-Sena she was encroaching on the duties of law enforcement.

City Attorney Chip Fletcher quashed the idea, saying that some people might be abusing the soft letter system to harass people, as well as the possibility that having the Council work on a law enforcement issue could run afoul of the City Charter.

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