[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Watervliet 3-30-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The City of Watervliet recognizes that private alarm systems provide security and promote safety for buildings, structures and persons within the City. However, the City also acknowledges that emergency responses due to false alarms from alarm systems can cause unnecessary danger and detriment to the Police Department and Fire Department as well as the public in general. It is the intent of this chapter to reduce in number false alarms, to encourage the proper use of alarm systems, and to promote the health, safety and general welfare of the people of the City of Watervliet.
As used herein, the following words shall have the meanings below set forth:
- ALARM SYSTEM
- A device or series of devices, including but not limited to devices interconnected with a telephone and/or radio frequency method such as cellular or private radio signals, which emit or transmit a remote or local audible, visual or electronic signal indicating that an emergency exists or that the services of the Police Department and/or Fire Department are needed.
- ALARM USER
- Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation or other entity which uses or is in control of any alarm system at its structure.
- A need for prompt police services, a need for prompt Fire Department services, and/or a need for prompt medical services.
- FALSE ALARM
- An automated action which emanates from an alarm system in a structure and causes a call or signal to the Police Department and/or Fire Department or a Police Department and/or Fire Department dispatch where a person therein contacts the Police Department and/or Fire Department to such structure (whether the Police Department and/or Fire Department actually arrive at such structure or not) without any actual emergency existing at that structure. The intentional transmission of a false alarm shall be punishable under the Penal Law of the State of New York.
- FIRE DEPARTMENT
- The City of Watervliet Fire Department and its Ambulance Service.
- Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation or other entity which has legal title to the real property where the false alarm emanates from.
- POLICE DEPARTMENT
- The City of Watervliet Police Department.
- A physical improvement to real property which has an alarm system in it placed there by or under the control of the alarm user.
- THE CITY
- The City of Watervliet.
Any alarm user shall be liable for and pay a civil penalty to the City of Watervliet for each and every false alarm occurring at its structure during any calendar year as follows:
Civil penalties shall be made payable to the Director of Finance. If any civil penalty assessed is not paid within 30 days after a notice or invoice is mailed, a late fee in the amount of $25 for each thirty-day period the civil penalty remains outstanding shall be imposed.
All unpaid civil penalties and late fees shall be a charge against the land on which the structure is located and shall be assessed, levied and collected by the City of Watervliet like other taxes and assessments; provided, however, that the owner and all other persons having an interest in the property are provided with notice and an opportunity to be heard before the assessment of any lien against the land.
The City of Watervliet is authorized, after due demand having been made, to commence an action at law in any court of competent jurisdiction to collect any and all unpaid civil penalties and late fees assessed pursuant to this chapter.
The City of Watervliet shall not be liable for any defects in operation of alarm systems nor for the failure to respond to any false alarm. Responding to or failing to respond to any alarm, whether false or not, does not create any special duty by the City of Watervliet. Any and all liability and consequential damage resulting from either a) responding or b) the failure to respond to any alarm system is hereby disclaimed, and governmental immunity is retained. Responses by the City of Watervliet Police Department and the City of Watervliet Fire Department may be based on factors such as availability of police, fire and/or medical emergency units, priority of calls, weather conditions, traffic conditions, emergency conditions and staffing levels. No duty to respond to an alarm is represented herein as being made or promised.