[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Greenburgh 4-9-1997 by L.L. No. 4-1997. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This local law also repealed former Ch. 300, Alarm Systems, adopted 3-13-1991 by L.L. No. 14-1991.
§ 300-11 Providing usage information; permission for testing; notification of disruption; police response.
An intolerable amount of police resources are expended responding to alarms which have been activated other than by the commission of a crime or the occurrence of a medical emergency. This not only wastes valuable police resources but poses significant safety problems while increasing the liability of the Town. This chapter is intended to avoid this waste of police resources by encouraging alarm users to assume increased responsibility for maintaining the mechanical reliability and the proper use of alarm systems which will serve to minimize unnecessary police emergency response to false alarms thereby protecting the emergency response capability of the Town from misuse.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms and words shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM AGENT
- Any person employed by or otherwise representing an alarm business, whose duties include, among others, altering, installing, maintaining, moving, repairing, replacing, selling, leasing, servicing, responding to or causing others to respond to an alarm device or system.
- ALARM BUSINESS
- Any business entity operated by a person or corporation for a profit, which business entity engages in the selling, leasing, servicing, maintaining, installing, repairing, altering, replacing or responding to a burglar or holdup or medical alert alarm system, or which causes any of these activities to take place, and subject to regulation by New York State.
- ALARM SYSTEM
- A device or assembly of equipment and devices designed or intended to signal the presence of a situation requiring urgent attention and to which the police are expected to respond. Fire alarm systems and alarm systems which monitor temperature, humidity or smoke, as well as alarms installed in motor vehicles, are specifically excluded from this definition. For the purposes of this chapter, the term "alarm system" shall include but not limited to the terms "burglary alarm system," "holdup alarm system," "central station," "panic alarm," "medical alert alarm," "direct connect," "local alarm system" and "proprietary system," as those terms are hereinafter defined.
- ALARM USER
- Any person or business entity on whose premises an alarm system is installed or maintained or any person or entity in possession and control of such premises within the Town, except for alarm systems in motor vehicles. If, however, an alarm system in a motor vehicle is connected with an alarm system at a premises, the person using such system shall be considered an alarm user for the purposes of this chapter.
- AUTOMATIC DIALING DEVICE
- An alarm system which automatically sends over telephone lines, by direct connection, or otherwise, a coded signal indicating the existence of the emergency situation which the alarm system is designed to detect.
- BURGLARY ALARM SYSTEM
- An alarm system signaling an entry or attempted entry into the area protected by the system.
- CENTRAL STATION
- An office, other than the Greenburgh Police Department, to which remote alarms and supervisory signaling devices are connected to receiving equipment monitored by private guards or other personnel and/or which provides persons other than Town police officers to respond to protected premises when an alarm is received.
- DIRECT CONNECT
- An alarm system which directly connects to or has the capability of transmitting system signals via leased telephone line or radio signal to the police communications center.
- FALSE ALARM
- Any alarm signal or other notice to the Town Police Department from the activation of any alarm system or alarm device designed to signal emergency notification to which the Police Department responds not caused by or the result of an emergency condition. This definition shall not include an alarm signal or notice caused by a widespread electrical or telephone failure, earthquake, blasting, hurricane, tornado or other act of God or medical condition erroneously believed to be an emergency.
- HOLDUP ALARM SYSTEM
- An alarm system signaling a robbery or attempted robbery.
- LOCAL ALARM SYSTEM
- A signaling system which, when activated, causes an audible and/or visual signaling device to be activated in or on the premises within which the system is installed.
- MEDICAL ALERT ALARM
- The activation of an alarm system in such a manner that indicates a medical emergency.
- PANIC ALARM
- The activation of an alarm system in such a manner that indicates a situation of immediate and emergency nature, such as a medical emergency or robbery in progress.
- Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
- PRIMARY TRUNK LINE
- A telephone line leading directly into the communications center of the Police Department for the purpose of handling emergency calls on a person-to-person basis and which is identified as such by a specific number included among the emergency numbers listed in the telephone directory issued by the telephone company and covering the service area within the Police Department's jurisdiction.
- PROPRIETARY SYSTEM
- An alarm system which transmits signals to a location within the protected premises and which is monitored on the protected premises.
- SPECIAL TRUNK LINE
- A telephone line leading into the communications center of the Police Department and having the primary purpose of handling emergency signals or messages originating either directly or through a central location from automatic dialing devices.
- A person who buys and/or leases or otherwise obtains an alarm system or who leases, occupies or otherwise controls a premises protected by an alarm system.
Approval of the Police Chief is required before any alarm system or device is connected to the police communications center.
The alarm user or his designated agent shall be responsible for obtaining the telephone connection between the alarm user's premises and the alarm-receiving equipment at the Police Department and for furnishing the appropriate interface equipment, if required, in order to provide an input system compatible with the receiving equipment used by the Police Department.
Automatic dialing devices.
This section shall apply only to those automatic dialing devices connected into the communications center of the Police Department.
No automatic dialing device shall be connected to a primary trunk line.
Automatic dialing devices designed to transmit signals directly to the Police Department shall be connected to a special trunk line into the Police Department. Before such a device is connected to a special trunk line, the person performing this operation shall first obtain instructions from the Police Department concerning the procedure to be followed. The Police Department shall designate the telephone numbers to be used for this purpose.
Upon a single stimulus of the alarm system, an automatic dialing device shall not exceed three separate calls to the Police Department via the special trunk line.
Every alarm business which has connected any automatic dialing device in the Town to a special trunk line at the communications center of the Police Department shall maintain a current list of such installations for inspection by the Police Chief or his authorized representative during the course of his official duties. Such list shall include:
The information required by this section shall be exempt from disclosure under Public Officers Law Article 6 and restricted to inspection by the Police Chief or his designated representative.
All persons engaged in the business of installing security or fire alarms shall be licensed in accordance with General Business Law Article 6-D.
It shall be unlawful to use or operate any commercial, residential or medical alarm system within the Town without first obtaining a permit to do so. Each residential, commercial and medical alarm user permit issued pursuant to this chapter shall be valid for a period of two years.
Any person, firm or corporation wishing to use or operate an alarm system in the Town shall apply to the Police Chief for a permit to use or operate an alarm system upon forms prescribed by the Police Chief. The application shall include but not be limited to the following information:
The applicant's name.
The address of the protected premises, including the apartment number or other appropriate description, if applicable.
The applicant's home and business telephone number.
The type of alarm system (i.e., local, proprietary, direct connect, central station, etc.).
The type(s) of emergency the alarm system is designed to detect.
The alarm business, or businesses, selling, installing, monitoring, inspecting, responding to and/or maintaining the alarm system.
The name, address and telephone number of at least one other person (in the case of a commercial alarm user, at least two persons) who can be reached at any time and who can access the premises in which the system is installed and disconnect the alarm system.
The alarm user shall notify the Police Chief, in writing, of any change in the above information no later than 15 days after a change occurs. Failure to so notify shall constitute grounds for suspension or revocation of the alarm user's permit.
The application and any supporting information submitted in support of an alarm user permit shall be securely maintained and restricted to inspection only by the Police Chief or those police officers or Town employees specifically assigned the responsibility for handling and processing alarm user permits in the course of official duties. Any information submitted in support of an application for an alarm user's permit shall be exempt from disclosure under Public Officers Law Article 6.
An alarm user permit decal issued by the Police Department shall be visibly displayed in a window on the ground floor in or closest to the front door of the protected premises or, when there is no ground floor, on the floor closest to ground level.
An alarm user permit issued under this chapter shall be nontransferable and, unless renewed, expire at the end of the permit term or upon a change of occupancy.
An application to renew an alarm user permit shall be submitted no later than 45 days prior to the expiration date of the existing permit.
When a permittee under this chapter has made timely and sufficient application for the renewal of a permit required to be issued pursuant to this chapter, the existing permit will not expire until the application has been finally determined by the Police Chief and, in case the application is denied, until the last day for seeking review of the determination of the Police Chief or later date fixed by order of a reviewing body or court; provided, however, that this section shall not affect any action taken by the Chief of Police to summarily suspend a permit.
The Police Chief may deny any application for an alarm user permit for any reason, including but not limited to the following reasons:
In addition to any penalties and/or fees which may be imposed for a violation of this chapter, the Police Chief may suspend or revoke any permit issued under this chapter for any reason set forth in § 300-6 above.
After notice of revocation or suspension has been given, the alarm user may continue to operate until all administrative rights of appeal have been exhausted unless the Police Chief determines that continued operation is not in the public interest and that termination of service will not compromise safety.
The provisions of this section concerning alarm user permits and false alarms shall apply to all alarm users in the Town except municipal, county and state agencies.
Failure to remit payment assessed for any false alarm within 30 days of notification of such false alarm shall constitute a violation of this chapter, which can result in the suspension or revocation of the alarm user's permit and additional penalties as provided under § 300-13 of this chapter.
If the Chief of Police determines that the public health, safety or welfare requires emergency action and incorporates a written finding to that effect in an order, he may suspend a permit effective on the dates specified in such order or upon the service of a copy of such order upon the permittee by certified mail, whichever shall be later.
There shall be an Alarm Appeals Board, appointed by the Town Board, composed of the Chief of Police, the Chief of any fire district within the Town and the Building Inspector or their authorized designees, authorized to hear any appeal from any person aggrieved by a final decision made under this chapter regarding the denial, suspension or revocation of an alarm user's permit or the determination that an alarm signal was a false alarm as defined herein.
Any permittee whose permit has been suspended or revoked pursuant to this section may appeal the decision to the Alarm Appeals Board by filing a notice of appeal with the Town Clerk within 30 days of being served with a copy of the decision, notice or order of the Police Department. The Alarm Appeals Board shall afford each appellant the due process rights to be heard, refute evidence presented in opposition and provide written notice of its decision.
Where an alarm user permit has been issued pursuant to this chapter and the permittee files an appeal pursuant to this section, the alarm connection shall continue until all appeals have been exhausted, unless the Chief makes a determination under § 300-7B above that continued operation is not in the public interest and that termination of service will not compromise safety.
Suspended permits will be reinstated upon payment of all outstanding fines, charges and fees.
Revoked permits may be reinstated after the payment of all outstanding fines, charges and fees and after the filing of a new permit application along with the applicable fee. The Chief of Police shall have sole discretion, subject to review by appeal as provided above, as to whether or not a revoked permit shall be reinstated.
For the purpose of reducing the number of false alarms requiring a police response, the Police Chief or his designated representative shall have the authority, at reasonable times, upon reasonable notice and upon the permission of the person in custody or control of the premises to be inspected, to inspect the installation and/or operation of any alarm system.
If such inspection reveals inadequate or improper installation, maintenance or use of an alarm system, the police may provide the owner, lessee or other person responsible for the alarm system or the premises a written report setting forth any deficiencies observed and/or detected during the course of the inspection. Such report may recommend the correction of certain conditions within 30 days and shall state that the failure to comply may result in a revocation of the alarm user permit, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter relating to the revocation of permits. The alarm user may be granted a reasonable extension of time to correct such violation upon good cause shown.
Failure or refusal to permit inspection of an alarm system after the transmission of three false alarms within a twelve-month period shall be grounds for suspension or revocation of an alarm user permit.
§ 300-11 Providing usage information; permission for testing; notification of disruption; police response.
Every alarm business or alarm agent selling or leasing to any person an alarm system which is installed on such person's premises in the Town shall furnish that person with actions which provide adequate information to enable persons using the system to operate it properly. Additionally, the alarm business or alarm agent shall inform the purchaser or lessee of his or herobligation to obtain an alarm user's permit. The name, address and telephone number of the installing alarm business shall be conspicuously displayed on the alarm system equipment.
No alarm system subject to the provisions of this chapter shall be tested or demonstrated without first obtaining permission from the Police Chief or his authorized representative.
When an alarm business's service to its subscribers is disrupted for any reason or the alarm business becomes aware of such disruption, it shall promptly notify its subscribers by telephone that protection is no longer being provided. If, however, the alarm business has written actions from a subscriber not to make such notification by telephone during certain hours, the alarm business may comply with such instructions.
Upon receipt of a panic or medical alert alarm stimulus by the Police Department, the police shall respond and, if necessary, effect an entry into the premises. A forcible entry, if necessary, shall be accomplished in the least disruptive manner practical under the circumstances.
The amount of the application and renewal fees shall be determined by Town Board resolution.
In addition to the suspension or revocation of a permit as provided above, a violation of this chapter shall be punished as follows:
Operating or maintaining an alarm system without an alarm user permit:
First conviction: a fine of not more than $50; however, if the offender submits an application, properly completed, accompanied by the required fee, within five business days of receipt of the summons for the violation, the court may dismiss the violation.
Second and subsequent convictions: a fine of not less than $150 nor more than $500 and/or imprisonment not to exceed seven days.
Operating or maintaining an alarm system after an alarm user permit has been suspended or revoked.
All other convictions, including but not limited to nonpayment of false alarm charges: a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $250 and/or imprisonment not to exceed 15 days.
False alarms. Each owner, lessee or occupant of property having an alarm device or system, other than a device owned and/or operated by a person with a documented, life-threatening medical condition, intended solely to signal a medical emergency, and any user of services or equipment furnished under license or permit issued pursuant to this chapter shall pay the Town a charge for each false alarm within the period January 1 through December 31 of each year, according to the following schedule: