There have been many ceremonies or other tributes over the past ten weeks by residents and community organizations alike to say thank you to the first responders putting their lives on the line during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sometimes a thank you goes a long way.

It's a heartwarming gesture that is also a true reflection of community and the human spirit.

If you want to do something similar, do so (and keep us posted) but be sure that you are being respectful and mindful of your surroundings.

When you see or hear a resident, group or organization having some kind of tribute or service to say thank you to first responders, share it with others.

However, make sure you share the truth and with no embellishment or falsehoods.

Rumors and lies hurt more than sticks and stones and put people on edge.

A Stafford Township resident on a Beach Haven West property who set out to do a good thing and honor first responders, front line workers and health care workers out on the front lines of the pandemic has been playing music for about 15-minutes every night at 7:30 pm which concludes with God Bless America.

This is a good thing and police in Stafford Township appreciate the gesture, not the social media rumors.

Police Chief Tom Dellane addressed those rumors and incident in question on Facebook Wednesday night.

He said there some concerns and misinformation posted recently to the 'Beach Haven West Community Group' on Facebook about his department.

"First and foremost, the members of the Stafford Township Police Department respect all citizens’ rights and work tirelessly to safeguard both our citizens’ rights and our officers’ rights," Dellane said.

The Chief then discussed the incident in question, saying that the department received a copy of a complaint made regarding the volume of the sound being broadcasted from the property.

"The complaint never mentioned the content of the songs being played. I instructed our patrol officers to respond to the Paul Blvd. area last night to monitor the volume of the music being played. Our officer determined that the volume of the music being played did in fact violate the Stafford Township noise ordinance," Dellane said. "At that time, the officer requested that the volume of the music be lowered and issued a warning to the property owners. AT NO TIME DID THE OFFICER TELL ANYONE THAT THE MUSIC COULD NOT BE PLAYED."

Chief Dellane said there were some posts in the private Facebook 'Beach Haven West Community Group' that said a Stafford Police Sergeant was "irritated by the noise while he was out kayaking and ordered the music to be shut down. This is simply not true. After the property owner was advised to lower the volume of the music, he asked to speak with a supervisor. Our police sergeant did in fact speak with the property owner about our noise ordinance and mentioned that a few days prior, he heard them playing “Going to the Chapel” while he was kayaking in the bay over one mile from the property owner’s residence.

The sergeant shared this information merely to illustrate to the property owner how far the sound of the music was travelling. The sergeant at no time filed a complaint or directed any officer to take enforcement action based on his observations.

I personally love patriotic music and respect everyone’s right to listen to music as they choose. However, our noise ordinance was crafted to carefully balance the rights of people to listen to music and the right of people to quiet enjoyment of their property. There are residents of Beach Haven West that work shift work and are sleeping at the time this music is being played. There are residents of Beach Haven West that have small children that they are putting down to sleep at the time the music is being played and there are residents who have medical conditions that are exasperated by loud noises. It is for these and other reasons that the noise ordinance restricts the volume of music that can be played.

I have high expectations for all of our officers and demand that they learn all available facts prior to making a decision. I respectfully request that in the future, people take the time to ascertain accurate facts prior to rushing to judgment about the actions of our police department.

I want to close by reiterating that all members of the Stafford Township Police Department vigorously safeguard the constitutional rights of all our citizens. We respect and applaud your salute to our front line workers, health care workers and first responders during the COVID-19 Pandemic but ask that everyone temper the volume at which they conduct that salute."

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