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Monday, June 17, 2024

Who do I call? Neighborhood nuisance edition

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As backyard barbecues begin in neighborhoods across the city, so do the spring potholes, the loud outdoor parties, and the late-night barking. Here’s who to call when you are experiencing a problem in your neighborhood:

When there is a noise disturbance in my neighborhood

Indiana Municipal Code 391 covers a variety of noise disturbances not permitted within Indianapolis neighborhoods. Honking, yelling, animal noises such as dogs barking, loud vehicles and stereos all violate the Municipal Code when used in a way that disrupts or causes harm to citizens. Between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., construction and maintenance work are considered noise disturbances. Dumping garbage, loading and unloading equipment, steam whistles, and exhaust noises are all not permitted between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. Hospitals, schools, churches and professional performances in a venue are all in violation if the sound travels more than a certain number of feet. If you feel that there is a violation or one of the above listed disturbances in your neighborhood, call 311, the non-emergency police line, to report a noise disturbance. For information regarding what is and what is not a noise disturbance, visit this page to learn more.

Other reasons to contact the non-emergency police line are sidewalk and road repairs, abandoned vehicles, debris blocking roadways, garbage bin replacement, dangerous animal complaints, damaged traffic signs and signals, graffiti removals or leaking fire hydrants. Citizens can also issue requests, check the status of their requests and find additional resources here.

To report loud or speeding vehicles on your street, citizens can also submit a complaint through the IMPD’s portal here.

When I suspect illegal activity happening in my neighborhood

The “If you see something, say something” tip line is a phone number that allows citizens to reach out and report suspicious activity within their neighborhoods or local communities.

To report suspicious activity, call the tip line at 1-877-226-1026.

According to the Indiana government website, it is important to keep in mind the following when calling to report suspicious activity:

  • Activity (Describe exactly what they are doing)
  • Location (Provide exact location)
  • Size (The number of people, ages, gender, and physical descriptions of each individual involved)
  • Time (Provide date, time, and duration of activity)
  • Equipment (Describe vehicle, color, make, license plate, guns, camera, etc.)

Additionally, you can search through the IMPD’s portal here to find out more information about Crimestoppers and learn about starting a crime watch program in your neighborhood.

When I smell gas

According to Citizens Energy, if you smell gas in your home or in your neighborhood, the first step you should take before calling anyone is to immediately leave the area. Do not call anyone while still in the area of the gas leak, according to Citizens Energy. If you notice the gas leak while you are on the phone with someone else, leave the area but do not hang up. In addition, Citizens Energy recommends the following precautions:

  • Do not use any electrical appliances or turn on any lights.
  • Do not light any matches or open/close any doors or windows.
  • Do not start any vehicle parked in an attached garage of the site of the smell, or utilize any automatic garage openers

To report a gas leak, call Citizens Energy at 317-924-3311 from a safe location away from the gas leak.

If you are not sure if what you are smelling is natural gas, Citizens Energy still encourages people to follow the above precautions. If you are unsure what natural gas smells like and you would like to be prepared in the event of a leak, you can request a scratch-and-sniff card here.

When there is an animal on the loose or an animal being neglected

For loose animals causing trouble in your area, IMPD discourages citizens from approaching the animal, going onto neighbor’s property to try and corral or catch the animal or to create a panic within the neighborhood for such disturbances. According to Indiana Municipal Code 531, “persons finding a stray animal are to notify animal care services division, or its designee, within 48 hours.” If you find a stray animal roaming their neighborhood, you should call the Indianapolis Animal Care Services at 317-327-1397.

If you suspect a neighbor is abusing or neglecting an animal in their care, visit the Indiana State Board of Animal Health’s website here, or call the Mayor’s Action Center at 317-327-4622.

When the roadway needs attention

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) regularly checks and monitors the roadways and keeps an updated map of travel conditions for all Indiana counties. That being said, INDOT has a portal for citizens to report issues on the roadways they feel are concerning for public health or safety. For urgent matters, INDOT suggests calling 855-463-6848 to speak with a representative.

INDOT can address traffic signals, construction sites, dead animals, litter, road signs and all maintenance on interstate highways, state routes and state roads. The above portal and phone number can be utilized for any questions, comments or concerns regarding any of the reasons outlined on their official website.

To report road issues that are not located on a highway, state road, or state route, you can report potholes, flooded roads, icy roads, or issues within your neighborhood to the Mayor’s Action Center (MAC) at 317-327-4622. The MAC is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. and Thursdays from 8 a.m.-5.p.m. with an hour break between 2-3 p.m. You can also report a pothole through their online portal.

When someone is not following the HOA guidelines

To report an issue with a member of your neighborhood disobeying Home Owner’s Association (HOA) guidelines, such as improper or lewd signage, improper storage or trash bins or general disturbances, citizens are advised by IMPD to contact their personal representatives to report the issue. To find information about your HOA, you can independently research the name of your neighborhood, as well as reach out to any neighbors who may have the contact information for your HOA.

For those who have a concern in their neighborhood but do not have an HOA, citizens are encouraged to call the Mayor’s Action Center at 317-327-4622 for issues such as roadway blockages, potholes, lewd signage, abandoned or dilapidated homes, trash/recycling pickup questions, high grass or weeds or any other non-emergent issue you may be experiencing in your neighborhood.

When I am worried about one of my neighbors

In order to request a welfare check for a neighbor, you can call the non-emergency police line at 311.

For additional information regarding who to contact for specific problems in your neighborhood, check the Mayor’s Action Center website here, the IMPD portal here, the INDOT portal here and the RequestIndy portal here.

Contact Staff Writer Hanna Rauworth at 317.762.7854 or follow her at @hanna.rauworth 

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