Police get complaints of noise, loud parties at El Cajon Catholic church

Church hosts night events at hall

EL CAJON - El Cajon police are dealing with complaints of noise and loud parties from an unusual source -- a Catholic church.

Chorus music and prayers are the sounds many generally think of when it comes to a Catholic church, but at St. Michael Chaldean Catholic Church, the sounds are not so inspiring.

"It's pretty loud," said neighbor Hethyr Hickman.

Hickman is talking about the sounds coming from the Chaldean church at night, when a DJ -- and not a pastor -- is manning the microphone.

"When you hear him on [the] microphone, it reverberates across property," said Hickman.

Instead of the quiet of church reflection, some neighbors have complained of loud parties.

"It's late at night, at least until 11, possibly later … it's usually at least once a week," said Hickman.

In a police message blog, another neighbor complained, "I have tried to play music to get myself to sleep, but you can still hear it and it is giving me a headache. I'm sorry but I did not move into this area to be close to a nightclub."

10News took a look, and while the church fronts a busy street with businesses nearby, the backside is situated in a residential area.

10News took the concerns from the message board and the neighbors, and brought them straight to the church office.

Inside the office, 10News spoke to a church employee who said the church rents out the church hall for weddings, parties and events several times a month.

She told 10News the church had been contacted by police with the noise concerns and that they have decided to stop renting out the hall for evening events.

It's a decision that's music to the ears of neighbors because it means less music and noise.

"We have kids … hate to think they can't sleep at night because of it," said Hickman.

A use permit allows the church to hold events until 1 a.m. at night on weekends.

El Cajon does not have a noise ordinance, which means police handle each complaint individually.

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