Kent City Council approved a program Wednesday night that will allow residents to register their parties with the police department. The program is voluntary and aims to reduce the number of noise citations and calls to which Kent Police have to respond.
The idea is that if a party is registered and the police get a noise complaint about it, they would call the hosts and give them 20 minutes to straighten up the party. If the party receives multiple noise complaints or if it receives several different types of complaints, police will respond as usual, Kent Police Chief Michelle Lee told the Ravenna Record-Courier.
We completely understand why the police would want to be able to call residents and ask them to quiet down without actually going to the party — it saves a lot of time and effort. And the program, police and campus officials say, has been successful in other college towns. But it certainly seems to us that most college students or young residents of the city would not trust police to leave a registered party alone until they get a complaint. They already know the party will be happening, so why would the police pass up a chance to patrol that residence even before a call comes in?
Though we want to see the number of citations go down, we just do not see residents voluntarily telling police in advance about their party. We hope, on the other hand, that the program’s existence will show people how serious the noise-violation problem is and encourage them to just have less-raucous parties that do not involve either warning the police or having the police come after a complaint. That would cut down the number of complaints but not make residents feel as though they are being watched.
The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.