WHY do police sirens in NYC have to be SO FREAKING LOUD??? Why?
They are so loud that pedestrians routinely plug their ears while sirens go by. They stop talking on their cell phones and cover up the speakerpiece of the phone in order to shield the person on the other end from the sound of the siren. The sirens wake up infants and small children and makes them cry. They cause car alarms to go off as they pass by. I have seen it many times.
Why? Why? I am writing this now because a string of police cars passed on the street below (please note: I live several stories up) and now my ears are ringing and car alarms are screaming.
I googled “New Yorkers Against Police Sirens” and look what came up almost immediately:
“It emits vibrations that can be felt, so drivers, even with their windows rolled up and stereos on, can be alerted to the approach of emergency vehicles,” Paul Browne, a spokesman for the Police Department, told The New York Post.
“The Rumbler Super Siren!” NICE! Tax money well spent!
Look, I admit that I have all the makings of a noise crank–if I live to be an old lady, I have no doubt that I’ll be pounding on my neighbor’s walls when they play their TV too loudly at night–but when it comes to dealing with the myriad unpleasantries of city life, I’m actually pretty stoical. I’m not a complainer. I know that the cops have important work to do, and that public health and safety is more important than my momentary comfort.
But I defy anyone to prove to me, via research, that sirens of that decibel level improve police reaction time or facilitate law enforcement services in any way.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say that I think THE RUMBLER probably erodes social capital and only makes people miserable and defiant. Why is it that when the douche canoe up the block wakes everyone up with his car’s bass and ghetto blaster, it’s a ticketable offense, but when the cops do it, it’s okay? Obviously we give cops special authority and bureaucratic discretion to do many behaviors–but why this one?
DOWN WITH POLICE NOISE TORTURE!!! PROTECT OUR SOCIAL CAPITAL!!!