[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Johnson City 3-7-2000 by L.L. No. 2-2000, which local law also repealed former Ch. 88, Alarm Systems, adopted 4-29-1980 by L.L. No. 6-1980 (Sec. 12-17 of the 1973 Code), as amended. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter may be known and cited by the following short title: "A Local Law Regulating Burglar, Fire and Other Emergency Alarms and Fees in the Village of Johnson City."
Response on the part of police patrol units or firemen on any alarm not only endangers the lives of the persons who are proceeding to the scene but also civilians along the way. All caution possible is used in making these responses, but there is always the element of danger. It is hereby determined to benefit the health and general welfare of the citizens of the Village of Johnson City to discourage and minimize false alarms when they are caused by human error or malfunctions of the equipment at the subscriber's terminals.
[Amended 4-16-2002 by L.L. No. 1-2002]
For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM REVIEW BOARD
- The Alarm Review Board shall consist of the Police Chief or his designee, Fire Chief or his designee, Director of Planning and up to two additional persons appointed by the Mayor.
- ALARM SYSTEM
- A device or an assembly of equipment which emits an audible response which is intended to alert persons outside a premises to the existence of a hazard or emergency, or which is intended to alert emergency agencies by automatically dialing an emergency agency, or which is connected to a private answer point for the purpose of reporting such alarms to emergency agencies, or which is directly connected to the emergency communications center or other emergency agency. Alarm system does not include any such device on a motor vehicle.
- FALSE ALARM DISPATCH
- An alarm dispatch request to the Police Department or Fire Department and the responding agency finds no evidence of a criminal offense, attempted criminal offense, fire or medical emergency or weather related cause after having completed a timely investigation of the alarm site. Alarm dispatch requests caused by actual criminal offense, or with evidence of a criminal attempt, actual fire, actual medical emergency or weather related causes shall not be considered a false alarm dispatch.
- LOCAL ALARM SYSTEM
- A signaling system which, when activated, causes an audible signaling device to be activated outside the premises within which the system is installed.
All at-scene audible alarm systems must be installed with a time-out timer which will discontinue the signal after a predetermined length of time in order to prevent unnecessary harassment of area residents when it is impossible to locate someone to turn off the alarm.
All local alarm systems shall become deactivated and silenced automatically after a period of time not to exceed 15 minutes. Police and/or fire officials may disable an audible alarm signal that has not been silenced prior to the expiration of the fifteen-minute period and shall not be liable for any damage that may result.
Any and all emergency alarms in the Village must be adequately maintained. The owner of an alarm system shall maintain the premises and the alarm system in a manner that will minimize or eliminate false alarm dispatches, make every reasonable effort to respond or cause a representative to respond to the alarm system's location within one hour when notified by the Village to deactivate a malfunctioning alarm system, to provide access to the premises or to provide security for the premises; and not manually activate an alarm for any reason other than an occurrence of an event that the alarm system was intended to report.
An alarm user shall be subject to warnings and fines depending on the number of false alarm dispatches emitted from an alarm system within a calendar year based upon the following schedule:
[Amended 4-16-2002 by L.L. No. 1-2002]
The Police Department and/or the Fire Department shall notify the alarm user within five days, by first class mail, of said false alarm dispatch, and within 30 days of such notice, the alarm user may appeal to the Alarm Review Board by showing written proof demonstrating that the alarm was not a false alarm, and the Alarm Review Board shall have 30 business days from receipt of said appeal to determine the appeal and provide written findings. The Alarm Review Board may reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify the findings of the Police Department and/or Fire Department that said dispatch constituted a false alarm dispatch.
Should the alarm user fail to pay any and all alarm fines within 30 days of receipt of notice or receipt of appeal denial, whichever is later, the Police and/or Fire Department shall certify to the Village Clerk the amount of the penalties.
If the alarm user is the owner of the real property which contains the residence or business, all alarm fines and penalties shall become a lien upon the real property and shall be included in the next tax bill rendered to the owner, unless paid before, and shall be collected in the same manner as other taxes against the real property.
If the owner of the real property is not the same person or business as the alarm user and the alarm user fails to pay any penalty assessed, the Village Attorney may institute a suit in the Village's name in any court of competent jurisdiction to recover penalties, costs and disbursements, including attorney's fees, incurred in the collection of penalties.