In midst of SXSW, Austin Police appoint 'Sound Enforcement Offic - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

In midst of SXSW, Austin Police appoint 'Sound Enforcement Officer'

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They call Austin the "Live Music Capital of the World" and South By Southwest is part of the reason why.

But Austin Police say there are some who just want a little peace and quiet.

"Our goal obviously is voluntary compliance. We want everybody to have a great venue and a good time but as you can probably hear, sometimes people play a little bit too loud," said Commander William Manno with Austin Police.

Commander Manno says the department has recently added a "sound enforcement officer" -- someone who works closely with the City of Austin Music Department.

"When he handles a complaint, he'll go out there and take a meter reading and if it's above the limit, they'll ask him to turn it down. If there's still not full compliance we'll give a warning," he said.

Manno says the decibel limit in the city is 85 db...75 db for restaurants.

So far this year, he says they've gotten 141 complaints -- mostly from residences and a few businesses. That number is less than the total number last year but there's still a few days to go.

Manno says some of the venues get repeat complaints. But before they start issuing citations, they offer help.

"What we want to do there is look at the environment. And the music office will help design some different speaker systems, different stage designs and directional speakers to where [you'll] still have a great event there in the venue, plenty of sound, but it doesn't necessarily carry outside or too far beyond," Manno said.

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