[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Cedar Grove 2-7-1983 by Ord. No. 83-191. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Fees for burglar alarms — See Ch. 119, 119-3C(6).
Exception from noise regulations — See Ch. 176.
General power to adopt police ordinances — See N.J.S.A. 40:69A-29.
The Township Council of the Township of Cedar Grove finds that the existence within the Township of external audible alarm systems which do not contain automatic shutoff systems permits the continuing emission of loud alarm signals without termination and that, in the event of unavailability of those able to control and terminate the alarm, persons in the vicinity are exposed to these loud noises for lengthy and indefinite periods without means of obtaining relief; that this condition is inimical to the public health and welfare and to the well-being of persons within the Township; and that lengthy emission of alarm signals is not necessary to the legitimate purposes of the property owner or occupant. The Township Council further finds that many residents and commercial entities have installed burglar, fire and other warning devices within their residence or buildings, and that false alarms from said devices requiring a response cause unnecessary expense and the unproductive diversion of personnel and equipment from their public safety function within the Township.
The purpose of this chapter is to establish regulations concerning the operation and maintenance of certain alarm systems within the Township of Cedar Grove and to provide penalties for violations of any of the provisions set forth herein.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:
- ALARM CONSOLE
- The control panels in police headquarters giving alarm indications and locations.
- ALARM DEVICE
- Any type of alarm-actuating equipment which provides warning of intrusion, fire, smoke, burglary, flood, or like peril, including a direct alarm, dial alarm or local alarm.
- ALARM SYSTEM
- The installation in or on one or more buildings of one or more alarm devices.
- DIAL ALARM
- That type of device which employs an automatic dialing system, precoded, to connect with a telephone in police headquarters.
- DIRECT ALARM
- An alarm device which has a direct line to an alarm console.
- FALSE ALARM
- The activation of an alarm system where an emergency does not exist.
False alarms will not include: activations caused by public utility interruptions
where such interruptions have been reported to the police; or those activations
caused by a natural disaster or a malfunction of the Police Department equipment;
or those activations caused by testing or repair of the system, provided that
the Police Department has been notified before such tests or repairs commence;
for an activation which is immediately followed by a telephone call to the
Police Department from the owner, or the owner's agent, properly notifying
the police that the activated alarm signal is to be disregarded.[Amended 10-1-1984 by Ord. No. 84-226]
- LOCAL ALARM
- Any alarm device, other than a direct alarm or dial alarm, which when activated, produces an external emergency signal.
- Any natural person, partnership or corporation, limited partnership, association, business, club or organization.
All persons responsible for an alarm system within the Township shall notify the Police Department before tests or repairs of the system commence and after completion of the same.
All persons that own, maintain or have on their property an alarm system within the Township shall notify the Police Department, in writing and on forms available at police headquarters, of the location of any alarm device so owned or operated, the type of device, the name and address and telephone number of at least two persons who can be reached in case of an emergency or malfunction of the alarm device in order that the device can be shut off or temporarily disconnected. In the event of any change in the provided information, the person responsible for the device shall submit to the Police Department, in writing, such revised information within 30 days of any such change.
Any connection to the police alarm console shall be of a type inspected and approved by the contractor servicing the police alarm console at the time of installation of the alarm device. It is the responsibility of the person causing the alarm device to be installed to arrange with the approved contractor the connection fees and charges shall be available at police headquarters. The Township of Cedar Grove and the Cedar Grove Board of Education shall not be charged with console connection or console maintenance fees.
All dial alarms shall conform with the following:
Dial alarms shall be coded to select a special number assigned by the Police Department. No such device shall dial any other telephone number on the police switchboard.
Prerecorded messages must be approved by the Chief of Police, or his designee, as to content, clarity, length and the number of times the message is to be repeated.
The device shall be provided with an automatic line seizure feature in the event that the assigned telephone line is busy with another call.
All such devices shall be capable of being disconnected by the owner to permit a call to the police switchboard in the event of a false alarm.
All components of such equipment must be maintained, by the owner or operator, in good repair.
The owner or operator shall pay to the Township of Cedar Grove a fee to be established annually by resolution of the Township Council sufficient to amortize the cost of the special telephone line or lines required by these devices. Such fee shall be paid not later than January 15 for each calendar year or any part thereof. In the event that installation of the system is made during a calendar year, payment of the fee shall be made at or before time of installation and shall be prorated on a monthly basis.
In the event that a person responsible for such device fails to comply with the requirements of this section relating to dial alarms, the Chief of Police, or his designee, shall issue a written demand to the person responsible for such device that the above requirements be complied with. Such demand shall specify the areas of noncompliance. Failure of such person to comply with such demand within 10 days of the mailing of such written notification shall be deemed a violation of this chapter, for which such person shall pay a penalty of $5 for each day of noncompliance after such ten-day period.
All external audible alarms shall be equipped with a timing device that will automatically silence the external audible alarm within 15 minutes after it is activated.
[Amended 10-1-1984 by Ord. No. 84-226]
The Police Department shall cause a record to be made of all false alarms. In any calendar year, the following penalties shall apply to the person responsible for any alarm device:
For the first and second false alarms, a written warning shall be issued.
For the third and fourth false alarm, there shall be imposed a fine of $35 for each such false alarm.
[Amended 4-21-2003 by Ord. No. 03-591]
For the fifth through ninth false alarms, there shall be imposed a fine of $100 for each such false alarm. For the tenth and subsequent false alarms, there shall be imposed a fine of $150 for each such false alarm. In addition, an investigation shall be conducted by the Police Department as to the cause of such continued false alarms, and upon a finding by the Police Department that there has been abuse or neglect in the operation or maintenance of any such alarm system and a failure to take remedial steps to avoid false alarms, the Chief of Police, or his designee, may require that the alarm device, in the event of a direct alarm or dial alarm, be disconnected from police headquarters for a limited or permanent time. No such disconnection shall be made without giving the owner or operator of the alarm device at least 10 days notice, in writing, of such intended disconnection, in order to allow such person to appeal such determination to the Township Council in order to show cause why such action should not be taken. In the event that such appeal is filed with the Township Council within such ten-day period, in writing, the Township Council shall hold a public hearing with reference to the matter, and no disconnection shall be made until the appeal is decided by that body.
[Amended 4-21-2003 by Ord. No. 03-591]
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to alarm systems placed in service prior to or subsequent to the effective date of this chapter; provided, however, that the owners or operators of existing alarm devices shall have 30 days from the effective date of this chapter to provide to the Police Department the information required by this chapter and shall have 120 days from the effective date of this chapter to equip any nonconforming audible alarm device with the automatic silencing mechanism required.
[Amended 10-1-1984 by Ord. No. 84-226]
This chapter shall be enforceable in the Municipal Court of the Township of Cedar Grove. Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter, except those providing for a specific penalty, shall, for each offense, be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000. Each incident shall be considered a separate violation.