Q: I live near a bar and commonly see or hear people walking around my street or near my residence, drinking alcohol, smoking, yelling and shouting. What can be done?

A: The city of Santa Monica is an attractive city, rich in popular nightlife spots and dining establishments. Your neighborhood resource officer (NRO) works closely with all of the major and pertinent entities (SMPD Vice, city of Santa Monica Code Compliance, California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control) to ensure that the quality of life for residents is not negatively impacted by any such overflow issues in his beat.

Although it is difficult to hold any establishment solely responsible for its patrons’ actions once they leave, an establishment can still be monitored and/or regulated to ensure all laws and codes are abided by. These laws are commonly put in place to maintain a controlled and safe atmosphere. When these laws or codes are not adhered to, or patrons are unruly or disruptive, it can result in a negative impact on the adjoining neighborhood.

It is important for you during these times to help us help you, by calling our dispatch center to report such activity at (310) 458-8491. If activity like this continues, it can be a sign of a long-term issue that needs to be dealt with comprehensively. You can also contact your NRO directly and provide them with the pertinent information. Your NRO in most cases will follow up with the owners of such establishments directly or SMPD Vice, SMPD patrol to begin the process of curtailing all issues from multiple angles.

Please feel free to call your NRO on the above for any additional questions you may have on this type of activity in your area.

Additional resources:

Santa Monica Police Department Vice Unit (310) 458-8458.

California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (213) 833-6043.

Q: My neighbors who live above me are noisy; they talk loud, walk hard and are up all hours of the night. I’ve called my landlord and he hasn’t done anything to help. Can you please help?

A: Yes and no. Absent intent, meaning your neighbor is intentionally shouting or screaming towards your walls or stomping up and down to intentionally disturb your peace, this scenario would be more of a civil complaint. Although hearing a loud voice or footsteps in the middle of the night can be disturbing, especially if you are trying to sleep, it may not be a violation of any law. On the contrary, it is a civil liberty afforded, under the guidelines of freedom of speech to every citizen of the United States under the First Amendment. Walking hard on an upstairs unit can be more of a construction issue than a tenant issue; this is usually common in older buildings. That being said, if you are having trouble with a neighbor, and speaking to him/her is getting you nowhere, call the police department at (310) 458-8491. The SMPD would rather help find an acceptable solution instead of allowing neighbor disputes to heat up and escalate.

Other alternative approaches can be taken, such as talking to your neighbor directly, when things are calm, to see if there is an amicable agreement you both can come to in order to enjoy your living quarters peacefully. Or, contacting the city of Santa Monica’s Rent Control Board for advice or mediation services is also an option. And of course you can always contact your NRO to see if he can help you with ideas or potential peaceful solutions.

Resources:

City of Santa Monica

Rent Control Department

1685 Main St., Rm 202

Santa Monica, Calif., 90401

(310)458-8751

Text a tip

Did you know that you can now text crime tips to the Santa Monica Police Department? The SMPD joined with 24 other law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles County in December 2009. The new program will assist the police department in solving crimes with help from the public. The program with Crime Stoppers, a non-profit organization, allows individuals to anonymously provide information on crimes they may have witnessed or have knowledge of. It allows law enforcement agencies additional ways to investigate crimes and provides information across various agency borders. This cross-jurisdictional access and the ability to work together, enables a virtual flow of information while maintaining the tipster’s anonymity. Tipsters may be eligible for cash rewards for information leading to an arrest.

If you have any information on a crime you would like to share anonymously, you can reach Crime Stoppers by either calling (800) 222-TIPS (8477), texting from your mobile phone, or by visiting their Web site at www.lacrimestoppers.org.

If you have police related questions or concerns, we’d like to hear them. Send your questions or comments to NRO@smgov.net and you may see your question in our weekly column accompanied by valuable feedback for the rest of the community. While not all questions will appear in the column, all questions submitted will be answered by a department representative. Also, please note that we will supply as much information as possible without jeopardizing any legal proceedings or investigations. Remember, if you have a question, chances are, another reader may be wondering the same thing. So don’t hesitate to ask!

NRO Robert Lucio (Beat 6: Montana Avenue to Interstate 10, 20th Street to Centinela Avenue) prepared this column. He can be reached by phone at (424) 200-0686 or via e-mail at roberto.lucio@smgov.net.