Beach Haven West: Did Cops Really Ban Patriotic Music?
Nothing can add a tanker full of gasoline to a fire like social media.
Earlier this week, I starting hearing reports that the Stafford Township Police Chief had pulled the plug on a Beach Haven West Community member who was playing patriotic music each evening.
As I searched the internet and social media I could easily see the story unraveling and unraveling, and unraveling...
I apparently wasn't the only one who noticed what was happening.
Wednesday, Stafford Township Police Chief Tom Dellane took to Facebook to iron out the facts about what had happened in Beach Haven West.
According to the Chief, every evening at about 7:30pm a person in Beach Haven West was playing music every evening to " recognize front line workers, health care workers and first responders for their service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The music is broadcast for about 15 minutes and ends with the playing of God Bless America."
Dallane says he received a complaint from a nearby resident about the volume of the music - not the content - and instructed his officers to go to the home on Paul Boulevard and monitor the volume of the music. Dallane says, "Our officer determined that the volume of the music being played did in fact violate the Stafford Township noise ordinance. At that time, the officer requested that the volume of the music be lowered and issued a warning to the property owners. AT NO TIME DID THE OFFICER TELL ANYONE THAT THE MUSIC COULD NOT BE PLAYED."
That's about where social media started adding some gasoline.
Stories started to come out about the Chief hating the music and calling for it to stop.
Some of the posts to the Beach Haven West Community Group page have indicated that a Stafford Township Police Sergeant was irritated by the noise while he was out kayaking and ordered the music to be shut down. This is simply not true. After the property owner was advised to lower the volume of the music, he asked to speak with a supervisor. Our police sergeant did in fact speak with the property owner about our noise ordinance and mentioned that a few days prior, he heard them playing “Going to the Chapel” while he was kayaking in the bay over one mile from the property owner’s residence. The sergeant shared this information merely to illustrate to the property owner how far the sound of the music was traveling. The sergeant at no time filed a complaint or directed any officer to take enforcement action based on his observations.
In the end, the Police Chief is OK with the music being played - as long as it's at a lower volume.
You can read Chief Dellane's entire comments on the matter here.