[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Closter 2-9-1977 by Ord. No. 1977:300 (Ch. 5 of the 1967 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to provide standards and regulations for various types of intrusion, burglar, fire and other emergency alarm devices whether by direct line, radio, telephone or other means actuating a device at the police headquarters of the Borough of Closter and requiring response thereto by the Police Department, the Fire Department or other municipal agencies.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to any person who operates, maintains or owns any alarm device or local alarm designed to summon the Police or Fire Department or other municipal agencies to any location in response to any type of alarm signal. The terms of this chapter shall in no way prohibit alarm companies from providing service by private source to other offices within or without the Borough of Closter so long as such activity is not connected to the alarm console; except, however, that any person having a premises protected by an alarm device shall still be responsible for the registration thereof in accordance with § 65-4B without fee.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM CONSOLE
- The console or control panel of devices producing a visual or audio response, or both, and located within the Municipal Building of the Borough.
- ALARM DEVICE
- Any device or mechanism used or designed for detection and warning of unauthorized entry, fire, smoke, flood or other perils but specifically excluding local alarm mechanisms located entirely within enclosed residential buildings.
- ALARM INSTALLATION
- Any alarm device or aggregate of alarm devices installed on or within a single building or on or within more than one building or other structure on a common site at a specific location.
- BURGLARY ALARM
- Any police alarm device actuated by a burglary, robbery or theft at a specific location.
- CENTRAL ALARM STATION
- Any facility operated by a private firm that owns or leases a system of emergency alarm devices, which facility is manned at all times by trained operators employed to receive, record and validate alarm signals and to relay information concerning such validated signals to the police or fire dispatch room.
- DIRECT ALARM
- Any alarm device connected directly by leased telephone wires from a specific location to the radio dispatch room at the Municipal Building.
- FALSE ALARM
- Any signal or message received by the Police or Fire Department and to which either or both respond, which signal or message was directly or indirectly brought about or produced by an alarm device of any type, but not the result of criminal activity or other emergency and not created by malfunction of the alarm console within the Municipal Building.
- Any private individual, partnership, corporation or firm which is authorized by license of the municipality to maintain and operate the alarm console except for use by the Police and Fire Departments.
- LOCAL ALARM
- Any alarm device which, when actuated, produces an audible or visible signal designed to notify persons within audible or visible range of the signal that a criminal act or other emergency is occurring or has occurred.
- The Borough of Closter or any department, agency or officer duly authorized to act on behalf of the municipality.
- Any private individual, partnership, corporation or firm which holds a permit from the municipality to use an alarm device on premises owned or leased by it.
- TELEPHONE ALARM DEVICES[Amended 8-11-1982 by Ord. No. 1982:435]
- Any of the following alarm devices:
Except as hereinafter provided it shall be unlawful for any individual, partnership, corporation or firm to operate or maintain any alarm device, as defined by this chapter, without obtaining a valid permit on an annual basis. Said permits shall be obtainable through the Chief of Police upon the payment of an annual fee, made payable to the Borough of Closter, in an amount as set forth in Chapter A301, Fees and Deposits.
[Amended 11-24-1980 by Ord. No. 1980:397; 7-26-1989 by Ord. No. 1989:578; 1-3-1994 by 1993:663]
Any individual, partnership, corporation or firm which owns and operates or maintains an alarm device or devices shall make application to the Chief of Police for a permit therefor on forms supplied by the Police Department. The application shall specify the name, address and telephone number of the owner and user of the alarm installation, the exact location of the alarm device or devices, the name and address of the installer of said device, the type of device, the name and address of the individual or firm regularly servicing said alarm device, if any, provisions relating to false alarms and testing procedures, a list of names and addresses of persons to be contacted in the event of an alarm and other information relating to the alarm device reasonably required by the Chief of Police.
Applications for a permit must be filed on or before February 1 next succeeding the adoption of this chapter for all existing or new alarm installations and shall be accompanied by an annual fee payable to the municipality in accordance with the schedule of fees hereinafter set forth.
[Amended 7-26-1989 by Ord. No. 1989:578]
All permits shall expire on December 31 in the year issued and shall not be valid after said date. A renewal permit application must be filed with the Chief of Police on or before January 15 in each year and shall be accompanied by an annual fee payable to the municipality in accordance with the schedule of fees hereinafter set forth. The renewal application, on forms supplied by the Police Department, shall provide for any changes in information from that contained in the original application or in the most recent renewal application.
The Chief of Police is the designated official of the municipality to issue and renew permits, to remove or suspend permits and to otherwise enforce and apply the provisions of this chapter.
An application for a permit or permit renewal may be denied if the Chief of Police disapproves of the equipment intended to be used or continued by the applicant or the manner of use thereof or if the applicant has violated any other provision of this chapter or is in default in the payment of the annual fee.
All permits as may be granted hereunder shall be accepted upon the express conditions that:
The permittee shall defend, indemnify and save harmless the municipality and its authorized officials, agents and employees from and against any and all damages, costs, expense and liability arising out of the acts or failure to act of the municipality, the alarm console licensee, the permittee, the alarm contractor, or any one or more of them, or arising out of any defects, deficiencies or inadequacies in any alarm device or devices for which a permit has been granted or in any installation, monitoring or maintenance thereof or by reason of any malfunction or defect in the operation or maintenance of the alarm console.
The permittee shall comply with all other provisions of this chapter.
There is hereby established a police alarm console license which shall be granted upon recommendation of the Chief of Police as set forth in § 65-4 of this chapter. Any such licensee shall have exclusive use and control of the alarm console except for use by the Police Department of the Borough of Closter, and such licensee will be responsible at no cost to the Borough of Closter for the establishment, construction and installation of said console containing equipment and being of a design approved by the Chief of Police and for the care, maintenance and management thereafter of said console. Said licensee shall locate said console and relocate said console if necessary under the supervision of the Chief of Police at no cost to the Borough of Closter.
Any connection to the police alarm console shall be of a type inspected and approved by the Chief of Police of the Borough of Closter or his or her designated representative, and any person aggrieved by said decision may appeal said decision, in writing, within 10 days to the Mayor and Council.
All alarms existing as of the date of the adoption of this chapter, except dial alarms, shall be connected hereunder to the alarm console by the licensee, and no connection cost for such transfer shall be permitted.
Allowable fees charged by licensees.
The licensee for the alarm console shall be permitted to charge permittees a maximum installation fee of $50 and a maximum monthly retainer or maintenance fee of $7, except, however, that no fee shall be charged to the Borough of Closter or the Board of Education of the Borough of Closter for monthly charges or console connection charges for any existing or future systems in public buildings, and any equipment or alarm devices installed by the alarm console licensee in such public building shall be at wholesale cost exclusive of labor charges. Any person, firm or company that operates a central alarm retransmission facility or central alarm station for the benefit of permittees shall be permitted to connect to the alarm console for fire alarm retransmission purposes. The licensee shall be permitted to charge such person, firm or company installation and monthly fees based upon the aggregate number of permittees using such central retransmission facility or central alarm station which connects to the alarm console.
[Amended 7-26-1989 by Ord. No. 1989:578]
The licensee shall install initially an annunciator or display console having no fewer than 250 zones available for present systems and future connections, which console shall be approved by the Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc.
Except as provided in § 65-6 of this chapter, any license issued hereunder shall be for a term of three years from the date of approval by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Closter; such licensee shall post with the Borough Clerk a performance bond in the amount of $5,000, noncancelable without notification to the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Closter, guaranteeing performance for three years of the obligation of the licensee and ensuring maintenance of said console and alarm system during said period when such license is in force.
Said licensee, for the privilege of obtaining such license, shall pay to the Borough of Closter a minimum annual sum of not less than 5% of the gross rental earned annually by such licensee from subscribers connected to said alarm console, which payment shall be made within 30 days of the close of each fiscal year in which said license is in force, and such licensee, by acceptance of said license, shall be deemed to have agreed to having the books and accounts of said licensee open to inspection by the Borough Auditor or other designated representative of the Mayor and Council to verify the annual account which shall be submitted by said licensee coincidental with the fee described herein.
[Amended 7-26-1989 by Ord. No. 1989:578]
The licensee granted a license hereunder will assume all liability and hereby agrees to defend, indemnify and save harmless the Borough of Closter, its departments, agencies, officials and agents from and against any and all damages, claims, suits, causes of action and costs and expenses in connection with or arising out of the installation and operation of the alarm console. The licensee shall at all times be considered an independent contractor.
The licensee shall provide, prior to the granting of a license, and maintain in full force and effect with responsible carriers satisfactory to the Borough the following insurance:
Workmen's compensation and employers' liability insurance covering all persons employed by the licensee. The licensee shall also cause any of its subcontractors to provide and maintain workmen's compensation and employers' liability insurance covering all persons employed by such subcontractors.
Comprehensive general liability insurance, including contractors' contingent liability, covering bodily injury with limits of $500,000 for each person killed or injured and $1,000,000 for more than one person injured or killed in any one accident; property damage liability with limits of $100,000 per occurrence.
All insurance policies are to carry cross-coverage clauses; i.e., insure both the licensee and the Borough.
All insurance policies shall contain a statement that the same may not be canceled or modified except upon 10 days' written notice to the Borough of Closter.
The policies shall otherwise be in a form satisfactory to the Borough Attorney.
Except as otherwise herein provided, any license issued hereunder shall be for a term of three years.
The licensee shall at all times observe and comply with all federal, state and local laws, ordinances, statutes, regulations and orders that in any manner affect the installation, repair and operation of the alarm console system and shall defend, indemnify and save harmless the Borough and all its various departments, agencies, officials and agents against any claims, liability or expenses arising out of or based upon the nonobservance of any of the foregoing.
The licensee shall pay all royalties and license fees necessary for the full and free use and enjoyment by the Borough of any and all rights to any inventions, machines, processes, licenses or systems supplied by the licensee which may be included in the alarm console system either in the installation or use after completion. The licensee shall defend all suits and claims for infringement of any patent right or rights of a similar nature and shall indemnify and save harmless the Borough in connection therewith.
The licensee shall be responsible for and shall pay all federal, state and local taxes of every type and description incident to the performance of its duties and obligations hereunder.
The licensee shall keep and perform its duties and obligations under its personal control and supervision and shall not assign, transfer, sublet or otherwise dispose of any right or responsibility under the license granted, without the express written consent of the governing body of the Borough of Closter, which consent shall not unreasonably be withheld.
[Amended 8-11-1982 by Ord. No. 1982:435]
Only the Borough and the Board of Education and such other public and private individuals, partnerships, corporations and firms which shall have applied to and been granted permission by the Borough to connect with the alarm console shall be permitted to use the services of the alarm console system. The Borough of Closter, through its authorized officials, shall have the right to suspend or terminate a permittee's service at any time for the failure or neglect of such permittee to comply with any requirement herein established, in which event the licensee shall disconnect the permittee's service at no cost or expense to the Borough or to such permittee, except that the permittee shall be billed to the date of termination of the service.
Suspension or revocation of license.
The license issued to the licensee hereunder may be revoked at any time by the governing body of the Borough, upon 60 days' written notice by ordinary mail to the licensee, for failure or neglect of the licensee to comply with and fully perform any one or more of the requirements or regulations herein established in a manner satisfactory to the Borough. The licensee shall be entitled to a revocation hearing by the governing body, provided that written request therefor is made to the Borough Clerk within 10 days after the mailing of the notice of termination to the licensee.
The governing body may at any time and without advance notice suspend any issued license when it shall appear to it that to do so would be necessary in the best interests of the municipality. The suspension shall be effective for such period of time as may be required for the municipality to investigate the matter. The municipality may request another individual or firm to service the alarm console during the period of suspension and the cost therefor shall be paid by the licensee. The licensee may continue to collect the usual fees during any period of suspension, but not for any period following termination.
Any suspension or termination of the license as herein provided shall be without cost, expense or liability of the municipality. In the event of termination of the license by the municipality, the licensee shall have the right to remove the alarm console system as may be owned by the licensee, at no expense to the municipality, in a manner and at the time directed by the Chief of Police [not later than 30 days after termination date] to permit installation of a substitute alarm system by an approved successor licensee. Any equipment as may be owned by the licensee which is not removed when directed by the Chief of Police shall become the property of the municipality, and the licensee shall have no further claim or right thereto or to any part thereof. The licensee may sell the alarm console equipment owned by it to another individual or firm accepted and approved as a licensee.
All equipment installed as part of the alarm console shall either be owned by the licensee or shall be under his or her sole and exclusive control, unless otherwise consented to, in writing, by the governing body of the Borough of Closter. Satisfactory proof of ownership or sole and exclusive control shall be furnished to the municipality immediately upon request.
[Amended 8-11-1982 by Ord. No. 1982:435]
The licensee shall enter into a contract with the municipality in a form approved by the Borough Attorney, which contract shall grant the license hereunder and incorporate by reference all of the requirements and regulations herein as an integral part thereof.
The Borough of Closter, its various departments, agencies and officials shall be under no duty or obligation to any permittee or to any alarm console licensee hereunder or to any other person or persons with respect to the adequacy, operation, installation, repair or maintenance of the alarm console equipment and any allied or related equipment or services and assumes no liability in connection therewith. Upon issuance of a permit hereunder, the permit holder hereby agrees to hold and save harmless the Borough of Closter, its departments, agencies and officials from any liability or damages suffered as a result of or arising out of improper or faulty installation, operation or maintenance of any police or fire alarm system of the permittee or the improper or faulty installation, operation or maintenance of the alarm console at the Municipal Building.
The licensee for the alarm console in the Municipal Building shall be selected in the following manner:
Any individual or firm which desires to become the licensee of the alarm console of the municipality under the provisions of this chapter shall complete and file an application therefor with the Borough Clerk on forms supplied by that office. The application shall be filed no later than the date specified for filing in the public advertisement therefor or as posted on the bulletin board in the Municipal Building.
Applications for licenses shall be accepted for a reasonable period of time, as fixed by the governing body, immediately preceding the expiration of the then-current license, or in the event of termination of a license to its natural expiration date, applications shall be accepted at any time after the mailing of the notice of termination to the current licensee.
The application shall require satisfactory proof of financial ability to perform, experience, service, capability, past performance, proposed charges and fees to subscribers and such other information as may be required by the governing body.
The governing body or its duly authorized agent may interview one or more applicants for the license, but shall not be required to do so.
The license shall be awarded to the individual or firm which the governing body shall determine, in its sole judgment, to be the most advantageous and in the best interests of the municipality, and the determination of the governing body shall be conclusive. The governing body shall take into consideration in making its determination the financial ability of the applicant, the applicant's prior experience with other municipal and governmental bodies, the applicant's service capability on a twenty-four-hour basis, the proximity of the applicant's office to the Municipal Building as bearing on service and repair availability, the applicant's past performance in this or other municipalities, proposed fees and charges to subscribers and such other factors as the governing body shall deem relevant to selecting the applicant which will be in the best interests of the municipality.
The governing body, if it determines it to be in the best interests of the municipality, may grant a license to expire on December 31 of the then-current calendar year rather than for a full three-year term. The grant of a license for this abbreviated term shall be with the consent of the proposed licensee and subject to all other applicable provisions of this chapter.
In the case of a false alarm, any person having knowledge thereof shall immediately notify the Police Department in a manner to be prescribed by rules and regulations in accordance with § 65-11 of this chapter. In addition, in the case of false alarms, the Chief of Police shall cause an investigation to be made and shall keep a record of said alarms on file. For such false alarms, the Mayor and Council prescribe the following penalties: for the first through third false alarms, a warning shall be issued; for the fourth and additional false alarms, a fine of $25 shall be paid. For the eighth and additional false alarms, the Chief of Police or his or her designated agent may disconnect the alarm until the alarm device is repaired or the cause of the false alarms is corrected. Where the investigation of the Police Department discloses continued abuse of the privilege of connection to the alarm console and a disregard of the permittee for failing to take remedial steps to avoid false alarms, the Mayor and Council reserves the right to require disconnection from the alarm console for a limited or permanent time, provided that no such permit shall be revoked or suspended without giving the permittee an opportunity to show cause before the Mayor and Council why such action should not be taken.
[Amended 11-24-1980 by Ord. No. 1980:397; 8-11-1982 by Ord. No. 1982:435; 9-25-1996 by Ord. No. 1996:730]
Any unauthorized or malfunctioning equipment may be disconnected by the Chief of Police or his or her designated representative for noncompliance with this chapter, and any person installing or maintaining unauthorized equipment shall be prosecuted for violation of this chapter, and each and every day said equipment is in operation shall be considered a separate violation. Any permittee shall, by acceptance of the permit, be deemed as having consented to inspection of the premises on which said alarm devices are installed at reasonable hours by the Chief of Police or his or her designated representative.
[Amended 8-11-1982 by Ord. No. 1982:435]
Any licensee of the alarm console and any permittee utilizing the services of any other alarm company connected to said console shall provide for a representative to be on call at all times, and adequate service shall be provided within eight hours of notification by the Police or Fire Department of any malfunctioning or faulty equipment.
All alarm devices shall be installed in accordance with all applicable municipal and governmental laws, ordinances and requirements.
A permittee or his or her representative shall respond to the source of a signal or transmission from an alarm device as promptly as possible after the actuation of such device and shall contact the Police or Fire Department dispatched to the scene. He or she shall relieve the police or fireman in charge whenever there is no apparent fire or criminal activity at the scene of the alarm.
Any permittee shall be deemed to have consented to inspection of the premises on which said alarm device(s) is installed at reasonable hours by the Police or Fire Chief or his or her designated representative. This provision shall not be construed to impose a duty on the municipality to make inspections or to relieve the alarm owner from inspecting, testing and maintaining his or her own alarm device(s).
If the location of the fire or police communications facilities should be changed at any time, permittees or licensees under this chapter shall not be permitted to charge the municipality with any resulting cost of moving alarm equipment.
All costs and recurring charges incurred in the installation and maintenance of alarm systems shall be borne by the permittee except where this chapter indicates that such costs shall be paid by the licensee.
Dial alarm devices shall be permitted only under the following conditions:
All owners of dial alarms shall register the same in the manner set forth in § 65-4B of this chapter.
No dial alarm devices shall be finally registered until a test alarm has been made by the owner in conjunction with the Chief of Police or his or her representatives.
No dial alarm devices shall be permitted unless of a type approved by the Chief of Police in accordance with the rules promulgated under § 65-10 of this chapter. Any such equipment must have the approval of the New Jersey Bell Telephone Company or its successor.
All dial alarms shall be coded to dial a special separate number, which number can be obtained from the Chief of Police, and no dial alarm shall be coded to dial the number of the general police switchboard of the Borough of Closter.
Any dial alarm device shall be coded, as well, to notify a relative, neighbor or other third party who will be disclosed in the registration of said equipment as required by this chapter.
All dial alarm devices shall be capable of disconnection to enable the owner to call the police switchboard to indicate that a false alarm has occurred.
For dial alarm devices, the owner shall pay the Borough of Closter an annual fee as set forth in Chapter A301, Fees and Deposits, to cover the cost of registration and testing and to amortize the cost of the special phone line or lines required in the Borough Hall along with ancillary tape devices of the police desk necessitated by these systems.
[Amended 7-26-1989 by Ord. No. 1989:578; 1-3-1994 by Ord. No. 1993:663]
Owners of dial alarm devices shall be governed by the false alarm procedures and penalties set forth in § 65-8B of this chapter.
In the event that any person has a dial alarm device in existence at the time of the passage of this chapter, he or she shall have 30 days in which to pay the annual fee. Any person not so complying shall be liable to a penalty payable to the Borough of Closter in the amount of $50.
Any person having a dial alarm device which dials the general police number, upon discovery thereof, shall receive notice, in writing, from the Chief of Police requiring the owner to comply with the terms of this chapter, and if the owner fails to do so within 30 days of the receipt of said notice, he or she shall be liable to pay to the Borough of Closter a penalty of $50.
The contents of any recorded message from a dial alarm device must be intelligible and in a format approved by the Chief of Police; no such message shall be transmitted more than three times as a result of a single stimulus of the mechanism; messages shall not exceed 15 seconds, and the time gap between delivery shall be approximately 10 seconds.
The sensory mechanism of such devices shall be adjusted so as to suppress false indications and not to be actuated by impulses due to pressure changes in water pipes, short flashes of light, wind noises, rattling or vibration of doors or windows or other forces unrelated to general alarms.
All components of such equipment must be maintained by the owner in good repair, and when evidence exists that there has been failure to comply with the operational requirements of this chapter, the Chief of Police is then authorized to demand that such device be disconnected until such time as compliance with current requirements is reestablished.
Self-dialers shall be limited to not more than three repeats on an alarm (sixty-minute period) and a message not to exceed 20 seconds in duration.
[Added 11-24-1980 by Ord. No. 1980:397]
[Amended 11-24-1980 by Ord. No. 1980:397; 7-26-1989 by Ord. No. 1989:578; 1-3-1994 by Ord. No. 1993:663; 9-25-1996 by Ord. No. 1996:730; 5-23-3012 by Ord. No. 2012:1124]
Local alarms shall be registered in accordance with § 65-4 of this chapter upon the payment of a registration fee as shall be set forth in Chapter A301, Fees and Deposits. All local burglar alarms shall be equipped with a five-minute automatic shutoff device; all local fire alarms shall be exempt from this requirement and shall ring until turned off by either a member of the Fire Department or another authorized individual. In addition thereto, those persons having local alarms shall be required to leave with the Police Department the names of two residents in the Borough of Closter who have keys to the premises, and in lieu thereof, this requirement can be fulfilled by leaving a sealed key to the premises with the Chief of Police of the Borough of Closter, provided that in so doing the owner is willing to release the Borough of Closter and the Police Department from any claims to damages or loss in connection with said entry. In the event of a malfunction of the equipment and no person can be located to secure the device, then the owner shall be liable to pay a penalty of $25. Notwithstanding the aforesaid, in the event that police have to respond to a false alarm, the false alarm penalty prescribed in § 65-8B shall also apply.
The Mayor and Council may from time to time promulgate rules and regulations supplementing this chapter in order to provide for recordkeeping and efficient management of said system.
[Amended 11-24-1980 by Ord. No. 1980:397]
Any permittee who fails to pay the annual fee as provided by this chapter within 10 days of the due date shall be charged a penalty of $10.
[Amended 7-26-1989 by Ord. No. 1989:578]
Any person, firm or corporation found guilty in Municipal Court of the Borough of Closter for violation of the terms of this chapter shall be subject to a penalty as set forth in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article II, Violations and Penalties, of this Code.
[Amended 1-3-1994 by Ord. No. 1993:663]
[Added 7-26-1989 by Ord. No. 1989:578; 1-3-1994 by Ord. No. 1993:663]
Notwithstanding the fees for permits established by other provisions of this chapter, where any individual, partnership, corporation or firm has two or more alarm devices which are received, recorded and validated at a central alarm station from where the alarm is relayed to the Borough of Closter, then and in that event said individual partnership, corporation or firm shall pay an annual fee as set forth in Chapter A301, Fees and Deposits, for all alarm devices connected to each central alarm station.
[Added 7-26-1995 by Ord. No. 1995:699]
The penalties for false fire alarms, that is, alarms to which the Fire Department of Closter is expected to respond, shall be as follows:
For the second false fire alarm in the same calendar year there shall be a fine of $20.
For the third false fire alarm in the same calendar year there shall be a fine of $35.
For the fourth false fire alarm in the same calendar year there shall be a fine of $50.
For the fifth false fire alarm in the same calendar year there shall be a fine of $75.
For the sixth and any subsequent false fire alarm in the same calendar year there shall be a fine of $100.