Good Neighbor Registration
The Amherst Police Department, in partnership with the University Of Massachusetts Off Campus Student Center and the Campus and Community Coalition, has developed the Good Neighbor Registration Program. Good Neighbor Registration (GNR) allows the host of a gathering on a Friday or Saturday the opportunity to receive a telephone call and warning if there is a noise complaint about their gathering. The host can disband a gathering after a noise complaint has been received. GNR is designed to reduce noise disturbance in neighborhoods and get students thinking about the impacts their gatherings and noise have on their neighbors. It is not a license to party. Registrants will receive information upon registering their gathering on how to be good neighbors and responsible hosts. UMass students can register on the Off Campus Student Center website.
For UMass students, what to know:
Further questions: visit the Office Campus Student Center in 103 Bartlett Hall, call them at 413-577-1005, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is Good Neighbor Registration?
A free and popular program that gives UMASS students hosting a social gathering off campus a chance to get a phone call warning and 20 minutes to break up a noisy gathering before Amherst police show up. It is designed to encourage responsible gathering, minimize excessive noise, and potentially save you money. Noise bylaw violations are $300 per person.
How do you register your gathering?
1. The applicant must be a current UMass Amherst student aged 18 or older living in Amherst. They must live at the location of the gathering, plan on being present at the gathering the entire time and submit only their own information
2. Fill out the form on the Off Campus Student Center website no later than the Thursday at 3pm prior to the Friday or Saturday you want to register. NOTE: the first time you register in a semester (fall, spring, summer), you must also schedule and attend a quick virtual meeting with a member of OCSC staff. The link for meeting signups is in the form, and this step must also be completed by the Thursday 3pm deadline.
3. Look for a confirmation email from a member of OCSC staff. You are not officially registered until you get the email.
How does Good Neighbor Registration work while I’m hosting my gathering?
1. If Amherst Police (APD) receive a noise complaint related to your gathering, you get a courtesy call to alert you to the complaint and have 20 minutes to break up your gathering.
2. APD will ask if you need help in dealing with your guests.
3. If you don’t answer your phone, the police will leave a message that a noise complaint has been received. Either way, the 20 minute period begins with the courtesy call. You only get one courtesy call for your gathering!
4. Break up your gathering peacefully and quickly and you’re all good!
5. If APD gets a second noise complaint within those 20 minutes or any time thereafter, a police officer will be sent to the property where your gathering is happening.
What could go wrong?
If you don’t pick up the courtesy call, you miss out on the chance to potentially break things up before police arrive. Keep your phone charged, on you, and make sure you can hear it ring. You get a courtesy call, but people at your gathering don’t listen when you tell them to leave. Contact the Amherst Police Department at 413-259-3000 for help if you need assistance getting people to leave. You fail to break up your gathering or a 2nd noise complaint is made. If a police officer is sent to the gathering, you may face consequences such as fines and/or arrests. Registrants whose gatherings result in a fine or arrest are disqualified from the program. There are other problems besides noise. If you or your guests are doing things besides making noise (damaging property, breaking glass, blocking traffic, engaging in dangerous behavior, etc.) the 20 minute courtesy time does not apply. Police will respond immediately and you and/or your friends may face serious consequences such as fines, arrests, and/or criminal or civil liability.
For Amherst community members, what to know:
If your neighborhoods are making excessive noise which is disturbing your peace, please call the Amherst Police Department to address the problem. Even if the gathering is registered, your noisy neighbors will still be having communication with an Amherst police officer. It will just be over the phone, not in person. This allows patrol officers time to be proactive addressing other crime and disorder issues in the Amherst community. If after 20 minutes or more, the noise does not reduce to an acceptable level, call us back and officers will be dispatched to assist the residents. The Amherst Police Department non-emergency telephone line is 413-259-3000. For Amherst community members wanting more information about GNR, contact Amherst Police Officer William Laramee.