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Residents along Delaware River fed up with loud ‘boom parties’ in Philadelphia

By Alyana Gomez

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    WESTVILLE, New Jersey (WPVI) — Residents in South Jersey and Philadelphia are fed up with loud parties that can be heard from miles away.

Neighbors say “boom parties” have been taking over the streets of Philadelphia for years and it’s now getting out of control.

“We’re sick of it. It’s been here five years and we’ve been calling and asking,” said Yvonne Stephens of Philadelphia’s Bridesburg neighborhood.

The speaker systems are massive. The rumbles from the bass can be heard and felt over in South Jersey, according to residents.

“It will wake you up out of a dead sleep, but it’s just that constant bass,” said Westville neighbor Jeff Stefan.

Stefan lives along the river and started a Facebook group called “Inconsiderate Late Night Philly Music” to try and track down the source.

He’s now joined by nearly 5,000 members who want to see action.

Video posted on YouTube shows a large party on Tioga Street in Philadelphia Sunday night, which was the scene of a quadruple shooting.

Two young women, ages 16 and 22, were shot in the head and died. Police are investigating if the shooting stemmed from the party.

“It’s a safety issue,” said Philadelphia City Councilman Mark Squilla.

Squilla says he’s introduced legislation to add special cameras in the known “boom party” locations, hoping it would serve as a deterrent.

“It has sound meters on the camera that pinpoint where the sound is coming from and then the cameras are able to take pictures of the vehicles,” he said. “Hopefully we can issue those violations in the mail.”

On the Philadelphia side of the river, Bridesburg neighbors say the city needs to do something before the community takes matters into its own hands.

“That’s what scares me, somebody may snap and I really hope that’s not what happened last weekend,” said Stefan.

“It’s about saving our children, saving our community, and finally getting everybody to do their job and be on the right path together,” said Stephens.

Cinnaminson police share that same sentiment, saying they’re concerned New Jersey neighbors will confront these groups.

New Jersey police have no jurisdiction to intervene in Philadelphia, but Chief Richard Calabrese tells Action News they are working with Philadelphia police.

Calabrese released this statement to Action News on the issue:

“I have had a lot of residents that reside all along or near the river in both Camden and Burlington County contact me. They all want to know what the police and the politicians are doing to combat this quality-of-life issue. The answer is that we try and work with our law enforcement and government officials in Philadelphia to assist but they have stated that they often do not have the resources to locate them and when they do, there are sometimes hundreds of “Boom Cars” that drive away after being disbursed but then find another location and stay there until the police find them again.”

Action News reached out to the Philadelphia Police Department but we have not heard back.

There is a council meeting scheduled for June 7 to discuss the legislation involving those sound meter cameras.

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