Perfect springtime weather invites outdoor activities, and the Thomasville Police Department encourages everyone to keep safety at the forefront of all outdoor event plans.
According to Thomasville Police Chief John Letteney, the main goal during outdoor events is to keep streets open to establish access to emergency vehicles. Large gatherings should also be respectful of Thomasville’s noise ordinance.
“We definitely support positive interactions and people gathering together to socialize,” noted Letteney. “We want this to be accomplished in a way that doesn’t detract from the neighborhood where an event is held or disrupt the quality of life and safety of our community.”
Due to a recent increase in neighborhood block parties, the Thomasville Police Department has partnered with the Georgia State Patrol and Thomas County Sheriff’s Office to increase patrol and monitor gatherings. One recent gathering escalated from a party at a private residence to a gathering of hundreds of people on streets and sidewalks, delaying an emergency response vehicle from assisting a child suffering from a seizure. Homeowners, residents, and other community members are encouraged to contact local authorities when noticing a local gathering that may be out of control.
“We want our community to work with us to spread the word and help promote peace and tranquility in their homes and neighborhoods,” said Letteney. “People congregating on public streets, excessive noise and drinking, and blocking of driveways are all elements that can quickly escalate and create potentially harmful situations. We can all work together to ensure public safety for our residents and visitors to our area.”
Party organizers and those creating a disturbance may be subject to civil and criminal penalties, including being deemed a “disorderly house” or premise. Event organizers are encouraged to complete an outdoor event permit so City services, including trash receptacles and police personnel, can be coordinated when needed. The outdoor event permit can be completed on the City of Thomasville’s website, thomasville.org.
“We support our community gathering and enjoying themselves. Gathering in a neighborhood together is not the issue,” said Letteney. “Rather, it is situations when these gatherings become large enough to impede the ability of emergency response that we must be mindful of. Have fun and enjoy yourselves, but do so safely and maintain a safe environment for our entire community.”
The Thomasville Police Department encourages the community to call the non-emergency dispatch number, 229-226-2101, to request assistance from law enforcement. In emergency situations, please call 9-1-1.