Editor’s Note: In this Chapter the word "Sheriff" is changed to "Chief of Police"; the words "Sheriff Deputies" are changed to "police officers"; the words "Sheriff’s Department" are changed to "Police Department"; and the words "Sheriff personnel" are changed to "police personnel" pursuant to the St. Charles County Charter Article IV, Sections 4.250 and 4.1300, as amended in 2012 and effective 1-1-2015, and St. Charles County Ord. No. 15-012, Section 2, adopted 1-26-2015.
[Ord. No. 94-51 §1, 3-31-1994; Ord. No. 02-108 §1, 7-31-2002; Ord. No. 12-033 §1, 5-3-2012]
For the purpose of this Chapter the following definitions will apply:
- ALARM NOTIFICATION
- Any notification intended to summon the Police to the alarm site.
- ALARM SITE
- A single premises or location served by an alarm system or systems.
- ALARM SYSTEM
- Any device or system that emits, transmits or relays a signal intended to summon, or that would be expected to summon, law enforcement services of the County of St. Charles, including but not limited to local alarms. Excluded under this Chapter are:
- ALARM USER
- Any person, firm, partnership, corporation or other entity who (which) uses or is in control of any alarm system at its alarm site.
- Alarm agency dispatch cancellation is the process by which an alarm company providing monitoring verifies with the alarm user or responsible party that a false dispatch has occurred and that there is not an existing situation at the alarm site requiring law enforcement agency response.
- CHIEF OF POLICE
- The St. Charles County Chief of Police or his designated representative.
- The unincorporated area of St. Charles County.
- St. Charles County Police Department.
- FALSE ALARM NOTIFICATION (FAN)
- Any alarm notification to the Department, when the officer finds no evidence of a criminal offense or attempted criminal offense after having completed a timely investigation of the alarm site. For the purposes of this Chapter, the following alarms are excluded from this definition:
- 1. During electrical storms, tornados, blizzards and other severe weather or acts of God.
- 2. The intermittent disruption or total disruption of the telephone circuits beyond the control of the alarm company and/or alarm user.
- 3. Electrical power disruption or failure.
- 4. While the alarm or alarm system is being worked on and after proper prior notification to the Department.
- LOCAL ALARM
- Any alarm system that emits a signal at an alarm site that is audible or visible from the exterior of the structure.
- Any individual, corporation, partnership, association, organization, government body or similar entity.
[Ord. No. 94-51 §2, 3-31-1994; Ord. No. 02-108 §1, 7-31-2002]
The person in control of an alarm system shall:
Maintain the premises and alarm system in a manner that will minimize or eliminate false alarm notification.
Provide the Department at all times the name, address and telephone number of at least two (2) persons who have the knowledge and ability to reset the alarm and secure the premises in case of an actual or false alarm.
Respond, or cause his representative to respond, to the alarm site within a reasonable length of time once notified by the Department; and to deactivate a malfunctioning alarm system, to provide access to the premises by Department personnel, or to provide security for the premises.
Not manually, or allow another person to manually, activate an alarm for any reason other than an occurrence of an event that the alarm system was intended to report.
Ensure that an audible local alarm is adjusted so that the alarm signal will sound for no longer than ten (10) minutes after being activated.
Notify the Department any time that the alarm system is being altered or repaired.
Be responsible for the proper training of their personnel in the operation of the system so that all provisions of this Chapter will be complied with.
[Ord. No. 94-51 §3, 3-31-1994; Ord. No. 02-108 §1, 7-31-2002; Ord. No. 12-033 §1, 5-3-2012]
The Department shall be held harmless should a person, or his designee, responsible for an alarm system summoned to the alarm site verbally refuse to respond when notified of an alarm. In this case, police officers will return to service and will not respond to the location again until the site is properly secured and the alarm reset.
[Ord. No. 94-51 §4, 3-31-1994; Ord. No. 02-108 §1, 7-31-2002; Ord. No. 12-033 §1, 5-3-2012]
The Chief of Police will be responsible for maintaining records of both alarm notifications and false alarm notifications, and will notify all alarm users of false alarms by leaving a false alarm notification flyer at the alarm site upon conclusion of the false alarm investigation. When given FANs, alarm users shall be responsible for ensuring proper operation of alarms and minimizing FANs, by conferring if necessary with their alarm companies.
[Ord. No. 94-51 §5, 3-31-1994; Ord. No. 02-108 §1, 7-31-2002; Ord. No. 12-033 §1, 5-3-2012]
The person in control of an alarm system shall be subject to warnings or fees depending upon the number of false alarm notifications emitted from an alarm system within the current calendar year based upon the following schedule:
Number of F.A.N.S
False Alarm Notification Flyer
False Alarm Notification Flyer and Warning Letter from Chief of Police
Three or more
False Alarm Notification Flyer and Letter from County Counselor imposing Fee of $100.00 per F.A.N.
A newly installed alarm system will be exempt from the above schedule of F.A.N. for thirty (30) days from the date of activation if notification is received by the Department stating the date of activation of the system.
[Ord. No. 94-51 §6, 3-31-1994; Ord. No. 02-108 §1, 7-31-2002]
Alarm notifications caused by an actual criminal offense or with evidence of a criminal offense attempt shall not be counted as a F.A.N.
[Ord. No. 94-51 §7, 3-31-1994; Ord. No. 02-108 §1, 7-31-2002]
No automatic alarm notification systems, with pre-recorded messages, will be allowed in the County of St. Charles that directly contacts the Police Department; and the use of one of these alarm systems will be a violation of this Chapter.
[Ord. No. 94-51 §8, 3-31-1994; Ord. No. 02-108 §1, 7-31-2002]
No direct line alarms shall be installed directly into the Department.
[Ord. No. 94-51 §9, 3-31-1994; Ord. No. 02-108 §1, 7-31-2002]
No telephone alarm system will be programmed to notify the Department directly by use of the 9-1-1 emergency telephone line.
[Ord. No. 94-51 §10, 3-31-1994; Ord. No. 02-108 §1, 7-31-2002]
The intentional activation of an alarm when no crime is occurring, or to test any alarm, or to test the response of police personnel without first receiving Department permission will be a separate violation of this Chapter.
[Ord. No. 94-51 §11, 3-31-1994; Ord. No. 02-108 §1, 7-31-2002; Ord. No. 12-033 §1, 5-3-2012]
Any person found in violation of Section 215.050 of this Chapter by failing timely to pay fees imposed pursuant to that Section may be subject to a fine of up to five hundred dollars ($500.00), or to imprisonment of up to ninety (90) days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. However, no such fine or imprisonment shall be assessed in conjunction with a fee as outlined in Section 215.050.
[Ord. No. 94-51 §13, 3-31-1994; Ord. No. 02-108 §1, 7-31-2002]
The enforcement of the regulations established by this Chapter shall be the responsibility of the County Counselor.
Editor's Note—Ord. no. 12-033 §1, adopted May 3, 2012, repealed section 215.130 "penalties" in its entirety. Former section 215.130 derived from ord. no. 94-51 §14, 3-31-1994; ord. no. 02-108 §1, 7-31-2002.