Low-Cost Innovations: Reducing Nuisance Parties and Noise Complaints

Big Rapids, in northwest Michigan, has a population of about 10,000. It is also home to 10,000 Ferris State University students. Approximately 3,000 students live on campus and another 5,000 live in rental property in the city (the rest commute to campus from outlying areas). This concentration of people between the ages of 18 and 24 in a city of just six square miles leads to noise and party complaints from their neighbors. These complaints have been coming into the police department for years; it is not uncommon for there to be 20 cars on duty on problem weekends in a city that normally only has two officers on duty.