Anne Arundel to turn down the noise

Local,Jason Flanagan

Anne Arundel County police officers now have the tools ? and a tough state law ? on their side when responding to noise complaints.

The Maryland Department of the Environment granted the county the authority to enforce the state noise ordinance and issue fines up to $10,000 to violators.

"This is the first time in state history that a local jurisdiction was given the authority to enforce state noise law," said County Executive John R. Leopold, who also acquired a noise meter for officers to use.

MDE is responsible for enforcing the noise law, but had no money or staff to do so, MDE Secretary Shari Wilson said.

"We encourage other local governments to seek the same power Anne Arundel did," Wilson said.

Six county officers are trained in using the $2,000 sound meter.

"Before this happened, it was frustrating to see a violation of state law, and you didn?t have the authority," said Cpl. Brian Smith, one of the officers who trained on the noise meter.

The state law is more restrictive than the county law and encompasses all-terrain vehicles, which are the bane of many county residents supporting tougher noise laws.