St. Petersburg Fl
Public Opinion by author: Robert Neff
In 2016, Mayor Kriseman and City Council revised the St. Petersburg noise ordinance. While their efforts focused on downtown, they were unaware the issue was citywide. A Public Records Request produced the police call logs. Then noise related calls were plotted on a map, which easily proved downtown was not the issue. Rather, there is a citywide issue where 1747 addresses had repeat calls. The noise issue is not limited to bars and businesses, but preliminary analysis residences indicates may outnumber bars and businesses for noise related calls.
The map shows the noise issue is citywide and related to businesses, residences, intersections, individuals and parks. Use the map to see how close your neighbors and you are to an address with noise.
How to use the map
Use the toggle button to toggle between the business and residences layers. You can check one or more boxes to see where noise calls display on the map. You can also check and uncheck multiple boxes to view layers.
View the Map
Should you wish to report a noise issue, call the Police non-emergency phone number, 727 893-7780. You have the option to remain anonymous or leave your name. If you want the officer to consider writing a noise citation, the officer will need to witness the noise with you. So please leave your name and number so you may be seen.
Public input is being sought on the Noise Ordinance. You may express your concerns and thoughts by emailing the Mayor at email@example.com, and your council member, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Data Analysis Approach1. Data requests for the Police Call Log were made via a Public Records Request through the City Clerk’s office or the online Public Records Center. Data was provided in an Excel spreadsheet.
2. The City’s Excel Spreadsheet did not produce the correct Geo Code. A Geo Code translator was used to translate the address with zip code into GeoX and GeoY coordinates.
3. The City’s Excel Spreadsheet did not produce time into the correct 24 Hr format. Incorrect formats were converted to the correct format.
4. The City’s Excel Spreadsheet translated some address numbers into dates. Those were identified and the city provided the correct street numbers.
5. There were 570 Intersections with noise related calls that were not included. While these may be attributable to nearby business or residences, the Police Call for Service Reports and or Dispatch audio files are required to determine were location was assigned. This requires reviewing the dispatch and Officer notes, and or listening to the audio to determine if this should be assigned to the nearby business or residence. The intersections next to Hollywood Nights South were added to Hollywood Nights South’s totals.
6. Six addresses on “TRELAINE DR S St.Petersburg, Florida 33712” were not included. The address and zip code were input into the Geo Code translator and failed.
7. On some calls for a business or residence, the police assign the call to the caller’s address and not the business or residence. Clusters around a business or residence are an indication that this has occurred and to check the Call For Service Report.
8. Dispatch is allowed to roll up calls made within a certain timeframe into one Call ID, verses assigning each call a separate ID. This under reports calls as they may be made by different people or calling again to complain about the noise.
9. Two missing calls were added on July 16 and 17th. A request was made for Call ID and audio of the call. None were produced, yet call records indicate there was a call. Here, Police Dispatch told the caller that the Officer was told the Flamingo had a concert permit. However, Public Records Request found no concert permit had been approved.
10. The Flamingo Resort calls from nearby residences created a call cluster. The Call For Service Reports’ dispatch and officer notes were reviewed. When the call was found to be for the Flamingo, the residence calls and addresses were rolled up into the Flamingo Resort’s total calls. The Flamingo also had calls rolled up by dispatch. These were added to the Flamingo Resort’s total.
11. Reviewing 1747 addresses to determine if the address was a business, residence, park, intersection, or individual was outside the scope of the analysis. There is discussion to crowdsource this effort to identify the category and sub category. This would provide a breakout on the number of calls and repeat calls for each category.
Author BioMr. Neff has run hi-end eCommerce operations for major national and international brands. He was Chief Web Operations Division at United States Mint and an executive in luxury retail eCommerce. He has several startups under his belt and has worked in Silicon Valley, Washington D.C., and Dallas. in the past, he was Director Online Sales for a consumer product company, directed eCommerce marketing operations and online analytical operations. Now retired, he is enjoying life as an award winning photographer, writer, and contemporary artist who has shown his work at one of Art Miami's International Art Shows, Spectrum Miami. He occasionally tests online products for companies in Silicon Valley. The value he brings is institutional knowledge from years of experience.
When the City of St. Petersburg noise issue became an issue for others and him, Mr. Neff dusted off his skills to conduct an investigation, data collection and data analysis.
Should you have a noise-related story to share or have a question, contact me directly via email.
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