[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Hellertown as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Reimbursement for Costs
[Adopted 5-19-2003 by Ord. No. 655]
The purpose of this article and the policy of the Borough of Hellertown shall be to protect and promote the public health, safety and welfare of its citizens and to attempt to prevent the Hellertown Borough Police from having to make a second and/or subsequent response to disorderly parties on private property and to prevent its police officers from having to make several return trips to a location of the party, gathering or event in response to complaints to disperse uncooperative participants. The Borough has found that repeated occurrence of these events constitutes a drain on the Hellertown Borough Police personnel and resources which, at times, causes other areas of the Borough to be left with minimum levels of police protection. The Borough finds that there is a rational relationship between imposition of a fine and/or other penalties upon responsible persons who permit uncooperative participants to threaten the health, safety and general welfare of the general public and cessation of that activity.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- LARGE EVENT
- A large event shall include, but not be limited to, large parties or gatherings of five or more persons who have assembled or are assembling for a special occasion and/or for a social activity.
- POLICE SERVICES
- Police services shall include the salaries of the responding officers at the salary then in effect for each classification of each individual officer for the amount of time actually spent in responding to or remaining at the party, gathering or event, the actual costs of any medical treatment to an injured officer not covered by insurance and the cost of repairing any damage to Borough equipment or property and any other costs that arise out of the Borough of Hellertown performing its function in dispersing uncooperative participants pursuant to this article.
- RESPONSIBLE PERSON
- A responsible person for the event and/or social gathering is the individual or individuals who own the property where the party, gathering or event takes place, the individual in of the premises and/or the individual who organized the event. If the individual responsible for the event is a minor, then the parent or guardian of the minor will be jointly and severally liable for the costs incurred for police services up to the amount permitted by law.
- SECOND POLICE RESPONSE
- Services provided by a Borough police officer during a second and/or further additional call to a location after the distribution of oral or written warning that the party, gathering or event is in violation of a Borough ordinance and/or violation of the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
When a large party, gathering or event, as defined under this article, occurs on private property and a police officer or officers at the scene determine that there is a threat to the public peace, health, safety or general welfare, the person responsible, as defined under this article, for the event shall be held liable for the costs of providing police services for the second police response by the Hellertown Borough Police if the Borough police officer or another Borough police officer is required to return to the location a second time after providing an oral or written warning on the initial response to the scene, to control the threat to the public peace, health, safety and general welfare. The failure by the responsible person to control the threat to the public peace, health, safety or general welfare after receiving an oral or written warning from the police officer to control the threat to the public peace, health, safety or general welfare shall be subject to the police service fees, as defined under this article. Nothing herein shall be construed to prevent the Hellertown Borough Police on the second and/or return call in arresting and/or citing the violators of the Borough ordinances and/or the state Crimes Code.
The police service fees shall include the costs of personnel and equipment but shall not exceed the cost of $500 for a single incident. The Borough does not waive its right to seek reimbursement for actual costs exceeding $500 through any and all other applicable remedies and/or procedures at the disposal of the Borough of Hellertown. The amount of such police service fees d against the responsible person shall be deemed a debt to the Borough, and the debtor shall be the responsible person or persons receiving said services and, if minors, their parents or guardians, as permitted by law.
The Borough Chief of Police shall notify the Borough Manager upon the rendering of such police services of the name, address and telephone number of the responsible person and/or persons, the date and time of the incident and the services performed and costs thereof, and such other information as deemed required to indicate to the Borough the costs of the police services. The Borough Manager shall take the appropriate steps to cause the appropriate billings to be prepared and submitted to the responsible person or persons.
The responsible person or persons shall have 30 days to remit payment to the Borough of Hellertown. In the event that payment is not received by the Borough of Hellertown within this time frame, the Borough Solicitor may commence an action for appropriate relief at the Magisterial District Judge or other court of competent jurisdiction to seek payment of police service fees. In addition to paying the police service fee, the responsible person shall also be liable for costs of suit and reasonable attorneys' fees incurred by the Borough in the proceedings to collect the police service fees.
Nothing in this article shall be construed as affecting the ability of the Borough to initiate and/or continue concurrent or subsequent criminal prosecutions for any violation of the provision of this article, any other Borough ordinance or any state law arising out of the same circumstances necessitating the application of this article. Any person who shall violate the provisions of this article in addition to the police service fee shall be subject, upon conviction before the Magisterial District Judge in and for the Borough, to pay a fine of not less than $100 per violation.
A separate offense shall be deemed committed for each day in which a violation of this article occurs. Persons violating this article shall be liable for any fines imposed, plus court costs and reasonable attorneys' fees incurred by the Borough in the proceedings to enforce the provisions of this article.