Schenectady councilwoman proposes noise crackdown

Schenectady County

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Cities can be loud places to live. Schenectady is no exception. According to a statement from Schenectady Police Chief Eric S. Clifford, noise complaints are common in the Electric City.

Schenectady city councilwoman Karen Zalewski-Wildzunas says the complaints are becoming so common that she is proposing a new position be added to the Schenectady Police Department solely for the purpose of enforcing noise complaints.

Some noises, of course, can be controlled like how loud a car radio is. Others, not so much. “We definitely want to crack down on the noises we can control,” says councilwoman Zalewski-Wildzunas.

To better enforce the city’s noise ordinance, which was placed on the books in 1983 and amended in 2006, Zalewski-Wildzunas is proposing a “Noise Enforcement Officer” position within the Schenectady Police Department.

“We want to have an officer specifically focused on the quality of life issues that we face everyday,” Zalewski-Wildzunas explains.

Some quality of life issues plaquing cities are that of littering, or, in this case, noise pollution. As far as current enforcement, the Schenectady Police Department says “officers are directed to use discretion for first time offenders…” and that “increased enforcement would be welcomed and allow for better tracking of first time offenders.” The department also says it is all about education and that “we don’t just automatically write citations but deal with it on a case to case basis as far as enforcing it [the noise ordinance].” The fine for a first time offense is no less than $250.

Councilwoman Zalewski-Wildzunas says by adding this position to the city’s police force is about teaching residents of Schenectady to be good neighbors. The councilwoman’s proposal could be a part of Schenectady’s 2022 budget which, according to Mayor Gary McCarthy, has already been put forth by his office. The budget and any proposals will need to be voted on.

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