by Louis Lawent
I believe that noise enforcement needs to be privatized to be effective.
This would not be necessary if there were a will to implement a public “horn honk” brigade that would be managed by the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPD could have officers who would only deal with noise issues. Consider it an expansion of the meter maid program.
It would not only make the city more livable, but would put enormous sums in the city’s coffers. If noise violators were assessed hefty fines as they should be (since it truly is in so many cases a premeditated selfish, rude act), the city could use this money for many quality of life programs. If you assessed fines of $150 per violation (think of the even more hefty fines you cited for boom box noise) and an officer wrote just 2 or 3 tickets per hour, you would have a money-making program. Fines would be doubled or tripled for anyone without an ID, since these people would have to be brought in for processing which would eat up an officer’s time. There would be a consolidation of these noise cases in the court system.
In other words, all people who wanted to challenge the tickets issued by Officer X would have their cases heard on the same day. This would minimize an officer’s time in court. Obviously, these cases would consume very little time (think of how many cases are handled in Traffic Court), so many could be taken care of in one sitting.
If the city of LA refuses to do this, then you go the privatization route–where the same principle applies. The privatized officers would have to be licensed to carry weapons and pass a training course so they could handle any unruly people. Teams of two officers would work together. The entire arrangement for an LAPD program would be used for the privatization (case consolidation, heftier fines for the time-consuming process of taking people without ID’s to a police station) route. The companies operating the program would get a percentage of fines collected.
Once again, there is no good reason why the LAPD could not operate this program, but if there is a lack of will, then let’s privatize.