[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Tobyhanna 12-21-1998 by Ord. No. 403. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Police — See Ch. 37.
This chapter shall be known as the "Tobyhanna Township Alarm Ordinance."
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM SYSTEM
- Any device designed or used for detection of intrusion into a building, structure or facility or for alerting persons of the attempt or commission of a crime or any emergency situation involving potential death or serious injury and which is directly connected to an audible alarm or the transmission of a related signal or message which is used to evoke an emergency response to any address or separate component of any system.
- EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT
- Any municipal agency, including police, fire and any other duly constituted municipal authority.
- NUISANCE ALARM
- The activation of an alarm system due to other than said purpose for which the alarm system is designed. Any activation of an alarm system caused by any malfunction caused by violent natural catastrophic conditions including electrical storms or power outages or conditions beyond the control of the permittee will not constitute a nuisance alarm.
The Tobyhanna Township Supervisors, by authority granted to them as specified in the Second Class Township Code, being the Act of May 20, 1957, P.L. 74, as amended by the Act of March 21, 1968, P.L. 66, No. 22, § 1, 53 P.S. § 66529, hereby enacts this chapter.
The Board of Supervisors of Tobyhanna Township finds and declares that:
The majority of emergency alarms to which the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department and emergency personnel respond are false. False alarms are herewith deemed to be nuisances resulting in a waste of municipal manpower and creating the potential for serious injury to police officers, fire department personnel and other emergency personnel responding to a false alarm; further, when said personnel are responding to false alarms, they are not available for the protection of residents and the general public of the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department territory.
The danger created through emergency responses created by nuisance alarms is unnecessary and hazardous.
The unnecessary waste of public revenue through responses to nuisance alarms must be eliminated.
Nuisance alarms have created conditions causing danger and annoyance to the general public.
Every applicant for an alarm permit shall file with the Tobyhanna Township Zoning Officer a written application on forms provided by Tobyhanna Township, stating the name, address and telephone number of the applicant; a description of the property or properties where the proposed alarm system shall be installed; the location, road, name of the development and a name which is conspicuously displayed on the property or mailbox of the property; a description of the type or types of alarm system to be used, including name and model number of the manufacturer; the name of the person or company who will install the alarm system at the location; and the name, address and telephone number of any person or company who will be available to be contacted in the event of an alarm activation. In the case of more than one building site in which the alarm systems shall be installed, the applicant must provide Tobyhanna Township with the necessary information concerning how the alarm for each building shall be distinguishable from the alarms in other buildings. All alarms should have a nine-minute cutoff time. In the event that the name, mailing address or telephone number of the person to be contacted changes, the applicant shall supply corrected information to the township within five days of the change. If requested by the township, the persons listed shall be required to be present at the alarm location within a reasonable length of time after being notified that the police or other emergency departments have received any signal or message of an alarm activation.
Alarm permits shall be transferable from one permittee to another, or from one location to another, without the express written authorization from Tobyhanna Township. In the event that the premises in which the alarm system has been installed is to be leased, conveyed or transferred, it shall be the responsibility of the then-registered permittee to notify the township of the name and telephone number of the new owner or new lessee and the name of the person to be contacted in case of the alarm activation.
Any subsequent individual or other type of entity that obtains title or occupies real property in which an alarm system has been installed and a permit has been issued by Tobyhanna Township shall notify the township within five days of taking possession of said property and make application for registration, specifying all information necessary for the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department or other emergency departments to respond to the alarm activation.
Every person or entity applying for an alarm permit under the provisions of this chapter shall pay a fee, established by resolution of the Tobyhanna Township Supervisors, to obtain an alarm permit prior to the installation of the new alarm system on the premises.
Any individual or other entity who owns or obtains title to or leases property in which an alarm system has already been installed shall pay the fee established by resolution of the Tobyhanna Township Supervisors to register the name, address, telephone number and individual to be contacted in case of the activation of the alarm system.
All fees shall be payable to Tobyhanna Township.
Any person or responsible entity that shall fail to make application or register with Tobyhanna Township prior to the installation or transfer of an alarm system on the premises shall pay to Tobyhanna Township a fine in the amount of $50, plus costs of prosecution.
Any person or other entity who receives written notice from the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department that an emergency department has responded to two nuisance alarms as defined in this chapter during any six-month period shall thereafter pay a fine of $25 for the first nuisance alarm, $50 for a second and $100 for each nuisance alarm thereafter, plus the costs of prosecution. For the purpose of determining the number of nuisance alarms, the repeated alarms in a twenty-four-hour period shall be deemed as one nuisance alarm.
All alarms should have a nine-minute cutoff time. For first-time violators, the fine shall be $50; for second-time violators: $100; for third-time violators: $150; and for each time after the third time: $150.
In the event that the applicant-permittee or transferee shall receive written notice from the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department that three nuisance alarms have occurred on the premises within a term of 30 days, Tobyhanna Township, after giving 15 days' written notice to the applicant-permittee or transferee, shall conduct a hearing to determine whether the permit shall be suspended until the applicant-permittee or transferee shall produce proof satisfactory to the township that the alarm system has been properly repaired so that no future nuisance alarms will be activated. If, after notice and hearing, it is the judgment of the township that such permit shall be suspended, and if the alarm has not been properly repaired, disconnected or removed from the premises, the applicant-permittee or the transferee shall then be liable to pay a fine to the township in the sum of $300 per nuisance alarm.
The information furnished and secured pursuant to this chapter shall be confidential in character and shall not be subject to public inspection, and all records shall be so maintained that the contents thereof shall not be divulged to anyone except to the persons charged with the administration of this chapter.
Enforcement of this chapter shall be supplemental to enforcement under the Pennsylvania Crimes Code Section 7511 [18 Pa.C.S.A. § 7511 (1998)].