Police chief to be out until August
Annapolis Police Chief Joseph S. Johnson will be out of work until August after being hospitalized with a "non-life-threatening, non-career-ending illness" last month, he announced Thursday in an e-mail to police and city officials.
Johnson said in the brief note that he became ill while working June 25 and spent several days in the hospital.
A city spokesman and a police department spokesman said they did not know the nature of the illness but that Johnson is in touch with Mayor Ellen O. Moyer while he recovers at home.
Capt. Barbara Hopkins is acting as chief in his absence, said Hal Dalton, spokesman for the Annapolis Police.
Leopold seeks to fight noise problems
In an effort to decrease noise problems, County Executive John R. Leopold announced Friday that he has made a decibel meter available to the county Police Department and instructed Police Chief James Teare Sr. to implement noise policies.
Leopold said that he considers noise to be a public health problem and quality-of-life issue and that the decibel meters will help with efforts "to improve public health and make our communities more pleasant places to live."
County law restricts the use or operation of amplified musical instruments, tape players, radios or other sound devices at an unreasonably loud volume. It also prohibits using musical instruments, tools, machines or noise-making devices at an unreasonable volume between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. A person convicted of a noise violation is subject to a $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail. Under this new directive, county police can use the decibel meter when responding to noise complaints to enforce the law.
By documenting volume, police could provide valuable evidence in noise infraction cases. Unlike state noise law, county law does not detail what level of noise is "unreasonable."
Leopold hopes to pass legislation setting county decibel restrictions, although his efforts to do so in the past have failed.