Fed-Up Lady Calls Cops on Bell Ringer

Sarah Hamilton-Parker says Salvation Army ringers violate noise ordinance

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 21, 2012 2:15 PM CST

(Newser) – Sarah Hamilton-Parker is sick of the Salvation Army bell ringers that set up shop outside the New Hampshire store where she works—so this year, she called the cops on the very first day of bell ringing. “I listen to this for 200 hours a year,” she tells Seacoast Online. “This is my fourth year and I can't take it anymore. I'm so sick of it.” She's tried complaining to the Salvation Army, asking for the bell ringer to be moved across the street in front of a church, to no avail. And the police say they can't help her, either.

Though Hamilton-Parker believes the bell ringers are violating the city's noise ordinance, a police captain explains that doesn't actually apply since they have special permission from city officials to ring their bells. He suggests Hamilton-Parker complain to city government, and she says she might do that, or start a petition. For now, she wears earplugs every day and plays autoharp music inside her store because the "bell-like" music masks the sound. "It makes me hate Christmas," she says.

In this Dec. 17, 2008, file photo, a bell ringer for the Salvation Army solicits donations on Fifth Avenue in New York.
In this Dec. 17, 2008, file photo, a bell ringer for the Salvation Army solicits donations on Fifth Avenue in New York.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
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