While the Pelham Bay/Throggs Neck area is relatively safe, quality-of-life issues have skyrocketed since the pandemic began.
In fact, the number of 311 noise complaints about loud music and parties has more than tripled from 1,500 calls in 2019 to 5,307 since Jan.2, 2020. In particular, police are often being called to Home Depot on Gun Hill Road and areas along Commerce, Seabury and Waterbury avenues for noise complaints.
On Oct. 7, residents packed the 45th Precinct Community Council meeting as Capt. Isaac Soberal and Democrat City Councilman Mark Gjonaj addressed the noise issue.
“This (loud noise) has been going on for decades,” the councilman said. “All of us have had noise complaints most of our lives, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be fighting for a better quality of life.”
The lawmaker said Mayor Bill de Blasio told him he planned to provide more resources to the 45th and 49th precincts to address the noise issue. While they are looking at legislation to resolve the issue, Gjonaj said it’s tough to catch people in the act, especially when many 311 calls do not know the exact location of the music.
But Gjonaj is confident Soberal and the NYPD can fix this problem. The captain said it is the Police Department’s goal to crack down on the late-night parties, no matter where they are occurring.
“I’m not here to make excuses,” he said. “My job is to solve these problems. I hear the frustration.”
According to Soberal, there have already been 1,900 311 calls for the 45th Precinct this month alone. An extremely high number, he said it shows that people are not sitting idly by, and that the cops have plenty of work to do.
“I’m telling my guys I expect seizures and summonses,” the captain said.
The past few weeks the officers at the 45th have written 40 noise-related summonses and seized four vehicles. Although the hope is that level of enforcement will continue, cops are also faced with noise complaints involving numerous cars that flee the scene in which police are unable to catch them all.
“When they get run out of one place they go somewhere else,” Soberal said about cars blasting music.
While most attendees of the meeting thanked Soberal and the officers for doing their best to limit the noise complaints, some have taken matters into their own hands.
John Cortese, 52 and a lifelong Throggs Neck resident, said he’s sick and tired of the loud music. On multiple occasions he has called 311, driven to where the music is and waited until the cops arrived to make the people leave.
“I’m not just complaining, I’m making a difference in my community,” he said. However, Soberal recommended that he stay at home and let the police handle it.
Reach Jason Cohen at [email protected] or (718) 260-4598. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter @bronxtimes and Facebook @bronxtimes.