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City of Easton, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Easton 4-24-1996 by Ord. No. 3434 (Art. 128 of the 1965 Codified Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Peace and good order — See Ch. 410.
The Council of the City of Easton finds and determines that:
A. 
Certain private properties require a disproportionate amount of police service in order to maintain order and public peace, to restrain unlawful conduct thereon and to stop public disturbances, such that there are less police personnel and resources available for other locations, emergencies, and duties in the City;
B. 
Such extraordinary police services at such properties places a disproportionate and unfair burden upon the citizens and taxpayers of the City;
C. 
Owners and/or property managers derive a benefit from such police services;
D. 
The owners and/or property managers have a responsibility to manage their properties to minimize required police services to maintain order and public peace, to restrain unlawful conduct thereon and to stop public disturbances;
E. 
The owners and/or property managers can minimize required police services to maintain order and public peace, to restrain unlawful conduct thereon and to stop public disturbances by diligent and strict management and regulation of their properties; and
F. 
Assessment of costs as provided in this chapter is not to discourage or suppress requests for police services, but rather to encourage and stimulate diligent and strict management and regulation of private property by its owners and/or property managers.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
GOVERNMENT ENTITY
Any federal, state or local government or school district or agency or authority created or organized thereby.
OWNER
The person or persons or corporations and/or corporate officers or other entity, and/or its principals, comprising record owner or owners of any private property.
A. 
An amount fixed by Council by resolution, which shall be the aggregate of the following estimated average costs associated with the necessary police services for each response, including use of equipment and administrative costs, required to maintain order and public peace:
(1) 
Compensation of officers (including wage, wage tax, health insurance, workers' compensation insurance, unemployment insurance and benefits) in relation to the average amount of time required for such police services;
(2) 
Reasonable administrative costs allocable thereto; and
(3) 
Costs of the use of and maintenance of police equipment generally required in connection with such police services.
B. 
Police service costs shall include, in addition to the amount fixed by Council, the actual cost of medical treatment to officers and/or costs of repairing or replacing damaged City equipment or property in connection with a response.
PRIVATE PROPERTY
Any land or building, including single and multifamily dwellings and commercial and industrial buildings, not owned by a government entity.
PROPERTY MANAGER
The person or persons or corporations and/or corporate officers or other entity, and/or its principals who have been designated as the property manager by the owner in a writing signed by the owner, and the designee and/or any person or corporation and/or corporate officers or other entity, and/or its principals, who is actually responsible for the management of the property.
PUBLIC DISTURBANCES
Any party gathering, event, or disturbance involving disorderly conduct as described in Chapter 410, Peace and Good Order, and Chapter 376, Noise, of the Code of the City of Easton and/or Chapter 55 of Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Annotated.
A. 
Every owner and/or property manager within the City shall pay to the Director of Finance or their designee, for deposit to the general fund, police service costs for each response by the City Police to maintain order and public peace and/or to restrain unlawful conduct thereon and/or to stop public disturbances at such private property for each response by the police in excess of two responses within 30 days.
[Amended 4-25-2000 by Ord. No. 3793; 7-22-2015 by Ord. No. 5505]
B. 
Provided, however, that police services in connection with crimes against residents and/or property by persons not residing or by persons who are not invited guests or otherwise lawful occupants of the private property shall not be considered responses for purposes of this chapter. Provided, further, that police services in connection with spousal abuse or abuse of children shall not be considered responses for purposes of this chapter.
[Amended 4-25-2000 by Ord. No. 3793]
The Chief of Police or other duly authorized agent of the City shall notify the owner and/or property manager that a response has been made to such property to maintain order or public peace or to stop a public disturbance. Such notice shall be given by regular mail to the last known address of such owner and/or property manager. Provided, however, that an owner and/or property manager shall be required to pay police service costs in accordance with the provisions of this chapter whether or not such notice has been issued or received.
[Amended 4-25-2000 by Ord. No. 3793; 7-22-2015 by Ord. No. 5505]
Police service costs due in accordance with the provisions of this chapter shall be billed to the owner and/or property manager by the Chief of Police or his duly authorized agent and shall be due and payable to the Director of Finance or their designee within 30 days of such billing.
Unpaid police service costs may be collected by civil action by the City against the owner and/or property manager with responsibility to manage private property and/or may be imposed or assessed against such private property as a municipal claim under the Act of May 16, 1923, P.L. 207, as amended, (53 P.S. § 7101 et seq.). If collection is required either by civil action or by municipal claim, a penalty of 10% and interest at the rate of 10% per annum shall be added and collected as provided by law.