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Hosts Could Be Billed for Repeated Police Visits : Proposal Seeks to Hold Down the Roar of Party Animals

Times Staff Writer

Loud and unruly parties would cost San Fernando residents up to $500 for police services if officers are summoned more than once to calm down the festivities under a proposed city ordinance.

The San Fernando Police Department is seeking the measure, which will be considered by the five-member City Council on Monday, to give officers “a tool to control” rowdy parties that disturb neighbors, said Lt. Dan Peavy, the department’s administrative commander.

“When officers have to come back again and again, we in effect become a private security force,” Peavy said. And private security forces charge customers for their services, city officials said.

“It is felt that persons responsible for such repetitious disruptions of the public peace should bear the costs . . . over and above the services normally provided by the Police Department,” a city report stated.

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San Fernando City Administrator Donald E. Penman said he has heard of no objections to the proposal from City Council members or residents.

The proposed ordinance is modeled after a similar one in La Mirada. In the 3 months that that city’s ordinance has been on the books, two $400 service charges have been billed to rowdy party hosts, City Manager Gary Sloan said.

San Fernando police acknowledge that the officers who patrol the 2.4-square-mile city are not being overwhelmed by calls to calm boisterous parties.

Most weekends usually bring in two party calls, Peavy said.

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Nonetheless, police want a strong deterrent to the return of full-blast festivities when officers leave, Peavy said.

The ordinance would require officers to issue a written warning to the party host if they find “a threat to the public peace, health, safety or general welfare.”

If police make subsequent visits and find the party back in full swing, that response will be considered a “special security assignment” and the host will be mailed a bill up to $500 a visit.

“We’re hoping this will give us a little more clout when we go out there,” Peavy said. “Right now, it’s like a big joke. We go out there and, as soon as we leave, people are crawling all over the lawns again.”


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