VCU Police roll out ‘PrtySmrt’ noise complaint program
Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013
VCU Police is debuting a new tool to reduce noise complaints and educate students on ways to keep their parties safe, legal and free from police interaction. Beginning Oct. 31, VCU students can register events and parties in the VCU Police jurisdiction through “PrtySmrt,” a Web-based service that gives participating hosts the opportunity and the tools to regulate their own parties and avoid noise violations.
When a student registers an event at www.PrtySmrt.com, they are asked to provide a name, date and time, location, cell phone number, email and expected number of attendees. Once registration is confirmed, the student will receive a robust packet of tips on how to host a safe event.
VCU Police Chief John Venuti said the “tips were developed based on our response to hundreds and hundreds of issues,” and include information on preventing problems often associated with parties such as uninvited guests, noise complaints, sexual assault, underage alcohol or drug consumption, fights and theft from the host residence.
“Fortunately, all those things don’t happen at every event, but if one happens it could be a life-changing experience for the responsible person,” Venuti said. “We give students that information and want them to take the time to read it so they understand what could happen.”
Beginning Thursday, VCU Police’s on-campus dispatch center will consult the PrtySmrt database when it receives a noise complaint in VCU Police jurisdiction. If the event is on file, an automatically generated text message will notify hosts that a complaint has been received and give them the opportunity to bring the situation into compliance. A second noise complaint will result in a final warning via text and a third call will prompt the police to respond to the location.
In explaining the system to students, Venuti has emphasized that PrtySmrt offers no protection against illegal behavior, noting that only noise complaints will be addressed through the text message program. The PrtySmrt registration process makes it clear that any reports of illegal behavior, such as drug use, underage alcohol consumption or property damage, will negate the PrtySmrt process and likely prompt an immediate appearance by police.
“This is one more tool that will help us do a little better job effectively dealing with and mitigating persistent issues in neighborhoods and communities surround VCU,” Venuti said. “Obviously PrtySmrt is not a free ticket to violate the law. If we receive a call or complaint that law is being violated, or there is a situation that represents danger for members of our community, you will not receive a text you will receive a visit from the police.”
PrtySmrt was developed by VCU Police Chief John Venuti and Gordon Miller, CEO of Richmond-based software developer G3 Systems and a graduate of VCU, after Venuti noticed how many department resources were being used in response to noise violations.
Venuti says he hopes that PrtySmrt “will reduce the amount of manpower that is used to respond to nuisance issues so our officers can serve and accomplish their primary goal which is keeping students safe.”
PrtySmrt will be available beginning Thursday for events within VCU Police jurisdiction. Noise complaints outside VCU Police jurisdiction or those received by the City of Richmond will not be eligible for the text message warning, even if the event is registered.
VCU is committed to promoting good off-campus conduct by students and its police department has the ability to enforce laws and rules on campus and in its off-campus jurisdiction. The department recently designated Officer Greg Felton its full-time external relations officer, dealing primarily with issues involving off-campus conduct and housing.
Subscribe for free to the weekly VCU News email newsletter at http://newsletter.news.vcu.edu/ and receive a selection of stories, videos, photos, news clips and event listings in your inbox every Thursday.