SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – City council is set to vote on updating the citywide noise ordinance.
This comes after downtown bar owners and residents spoke out for months now about heightened crime and utter chaos on the streets during the weekends. Something the police chief said his officers are having trouble dealing with.
The council will discuss changing parts of the Chapter 58 Code known as the noise ordinance.
The city attorney’s office said they spent time making well-thought-out revisions to the code that was first implemented in 2011 to address fracking from the Haynesville shale. These changes will better focus on nightclubs and entertainment venues by placing them on a decibel ranking up to 70 with certain entities such as churches and school functions exempt.
The city attorney said it will give the police department the tools for enforcement. While residents plead with the council to pass it saying the extreme noise levels are keeping them up at night.
“The first night I moved in, I called a friend late at night to ask if I could stay the night because the noise is deafening,” said a resident of The Standard.
“Now we have no peace. Every weekend we get no sleep,” said another downtown resident.
Two longtime business owners of downtown bars told the council on Monday they would normally never support a noise ordinance, however, they have witnessed the crime problem firsthand. With people hanging out of cars, someone carrying an AR15 rifle before a drive-by shooting killed people on Texas Street this past year.
“The number of people who have been shot and killed downtown is at the highest its ever been and I’ve been downtown a long time,” said Tim Huck, owner of The Phoenix and Sand Bar.
“I’m closing at midnight on most nights because it gets so crazy. In fact, I’m looking to move out of downtown for that reason. That’s not something I want to do. I’ve been there for 20 years now,” said Chase Boytim, owner of Fatty Arbuckle’s Pub.
Boytim told the council he does not want Club Haze or Style to be hurt as businesses, and the problem is not with what is happening inside, but outside where people are congregating because of the loud music which is leading to violent, unruly behavior.
Police Chief Wayne Smith said he visited the area outside of Club Haze and saw lots of people not paying to enter the club, but rather standing outside. He wants the noise ordinance passed to help his officers. The council has it on its agenda to vote on during Tuesday’s meeting.