[Adopted 9-21-1992 by Ord. No. 601 (Ch. 11, Art. V, of the 1990 Code)]
It is the purpose of this Part 5 to encourage a reduction in the frequency of false security alarms and to establish a service fee to compensate for the inappropriate use of municipal resources in response to false security alarms.
As used in this Part 5, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM SYSTEM
- A system including any mechanism, equipment or device designed to automatically transmit a signal, message or warning from private or public premises, including telephone alarm systems designed to operate automatically through the use of public telephone facilities to the Augusta Police Headquarters or monitored by another private or public entity which in turn calls the Augusta Police Department.
- FALSE SECURITY ALARM
- An alarm caused by malfunctioning of an alarm system, owner, employee or resident error, inappropriate alarm equipment installation, improperly monitored equipment or inappropriate use of alarm so as to cause an emergency response by the Augusta police when in fact no emergency exists.
Any owner or owners of an alarm system whose system causes the transmittal of a false security alarm more than three times per calendar year shall pay a fee of $25 to the City of Augusta for each false security alarm in excess of three, such alarms per calendar year. The City shall notify the owner(s) of security alarms of this policy, including the financial penalties, after the first false security alarm. Alarms generated as a result of circumstances beyond the alarm owner's control (e.g., power outage, weather conditions, motor vehicle accidents, telephone transmission problems, etc.) shall not result in a service fee nor shall they be counted in the three responses allowed per calendar year commencing on the effective date of this Part 5.
It shall be the sole responsibility of the alarm owner or owners to ensure that they and/or their employees and/or other occupants operating the alarm have received complete instructions in the correct operation and use of the alarm system.
For the first 30 days following an alarm installation, no charge to the owner or owners will be made for false security alarms nor shall any false security alarm during the first 30 days following an alarm installation be counted toward the three permitted false security alarms allowed during a calendar year.
The responding police unit shall make a determination as to the cause of the alarm and whether it shall be considered a chargeable false security alarm.
In the event an alarm owner or owners do not pay the fee provided for above after receiving a bill for same, the Augusta Police Department may disconnect the subject alarm and notify the alarm owner in writing of such disconnection.
The City Manager will report to the City Council six months from the effective date of this Part 5 as to its effectiveness in reducing the frequency of false security alarms.