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The Whittier Police Department enforces California Penal Code section 415 and a municipal code to respond to loud party complaints. This section of the penal codes provides that noise is illegal when “any person…maliciously and willfully disturbs another person by loud and unreasonable noise”. Since no time frame is specified within this section it means that any person’s peace can be disturbed at any time of day they consider their peace to be disturbed by unreasonable noise, whether 2:00 am or 2:00 pm. The unreasonableness of the noise is an important and necessary requirement of an actual violation of Penal Code section 415.
If you feel someone is in violation of penal code section 415, you should call the Whittier Police Department at (562) 567-9200 to report the violation. You will be asked if you will sign a citizen’s arrest form for disturbance of the peace. Under California law, a police officer’s peace cannot be disturbed. A police officer observing a social gathering and hearing loud music cannot enforce Penal Code 415 without a citizen who has reported this gathering to be disturbing their peace. To allow us the authority to arrest the offending party we must have a victim who has identified himself or herself to us, and is willing to make the citizen’s arrest for this section. Even if you do not wish to do so, you will still be asked for your name, address and phone number, for our information only.
An alternative to Penal Code Section 415 is the Whittier Municipal Code 9.56 which is most commonly used to resolve disturbances in the City. Upon responding and determining that a disturbance is in fact taking place, officers will issue a "first response to host" notice. This notice will notify the host that he or she must take the necessary steps to mitigate the noise and discontinue the disturbance. The first response explains that if Whittier Police is again dispatched to the location in regards to the disturbance within 24 hours, the owner/renter will be charged for the response and officers will take the necessary steps to abate the problem.
You can read the Municipal Code in detail by visiting the Whittier Code Online.
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