In an email to residents, Sands Point Mayor and Police Commissioner Peter Forman described car meetups as the source of late-night, bass-heavy sounds from Queens and the Bronx.
Sound travels quicker in water than in air. It also amplifies it, much to the dismay of those who live near the water.
“According to all reports, the noise is coming from vehicles with giant car-mounted boom boxes,” he wrote June 7. “Some as large as [six feet] wide and [four feet] high mounted on the cars for ‘meetups.’”
Forman is also the commissioner of the Port Washington-Manhasset Office of Emergency Management. He told Blank Slate Media how the matter is complicated by the inconsistency of who is affected.
“There are parts of the community that hear it, there are parts that don’t hear it and it’s not necessarily correlated with their closeness to the north or to the shore,” he said. “So I can’t quite tell you which homes it penetrates and which it doesn’t, but I know we’ve been hearing a lot of it.
As the sound comes from New York City, it is under the jurisdiction of the NYPD. But Forman has battled to fix the situation for the residents of the Cow Neck Peninsula.
“My concern is that this is a bit like ‘Whack-A-Mole’ for the NYPD,” he said.
On June 6, Forman held a preliminary conference call with Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder. Together, with Sands Point Police Chief Thomas Ruehle, they requested extra help.
“We have a lot of confidence in Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder of the Nassau County Police Department to try to help this issue,” he said. “We’re hoping that NCPD’s deep relationship with the NYPD will help address this issue.”
A follow-up meeting was held Tuesday. This time more local police departments were involved to help advance the situation.
Forman said the NCPD has promised to support local police departments to address the problem. He believes that their involvement will make a significant difference.
For some residents, sleep is no longer a guarantee.
One couple, who requested anonymity because of their Sands Point status, revealed how the noise and resulting lack of sleep are affecting them.
“This weekend it went on during the day,” they said. “There was just no getting away from it. I mean, I am physically sick today from a lack of sleep and I am exhausted.”
For almost 45 years, they have called Sands Point home. But since April the pounding noise has turned their home into a “war zone”.
“It’s a very deep sound, a thumping sound, like what you hear when somebody’s driving by and they’ve got their windows open,” the other partner said. “We have heard this going back a couple of years and we have been beside ourselves.”
Others, like Port Washington resident Elizabeth DiNapoli, aren’t affected by the loudness regularly. However, it was not until she stayed in Sea Cliff, on the water, that she heard it for the first time.
“I cannot imagine having to hear that every night,” she said. “Now I get it.”
Another Port resident, Zhanna Janet Gorodetsky, gave a brief but sharp thought on the subject.
“It’s a disaster,” she said. “I dread nighttime.”