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(A) An alarm user shall be subject to warnings, fines and verified response status depending on the number of false alarms emitted from an alarm system within any rolling 180 days period based upon the following schedule:
(1) First and second false alarms, warning citation issued with no fine.
(2) Third false alarm, civil citation, $50 fine.
(3) Fourth false alarm, civil citation, $100 fine, alarm system placed on “verified response” status.
(4) Fifth and subsequent alarms must be verified before police notification, $100 fine if false.
(B) If cancellation occurs prior to law enforcement arriving at the scene, that is not a false alarm for the purpose of warnings or fines and no fines will be assessed.
(C) Notifications of warnings and fines will be made via Town of Boone civil citation and left with an alarm user, responding key holder, posted on the alarm site, or delivered in a similar manner at a later date. Fines, when applicable, are payable 30 days from the date of issuance.
(D) Notifications that an alarm system has been placed on “verified response” status will be delivered in the form of the citation as well as a notification letter delivered electronically, by regular mail, or in person, to the alarm user or a key holder. The associated fine is payable 30 days from the date of citation issuance. An alarm user who receives notification that their alarm system is in verified response status must notify their alarm company of this condition in order to prevent the alarm company form contacting law enforcement unless the validity of the alarm is independently verified.
(E) A alarm system placed on “verified response” will remain in that status until all outstanding fines are paid and the alarm user delivers to the Chief of Police documentation of correction of any problem condition. Documentation may take the form of a letter from the alarm user and/or a letter from an alarm company that provided service in response to false alarms. The Chief of Police will review the provided documentation and notify the alarm user of additional steps necessary or of removal from verified response status.
(F) Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to the civil penalties set forth. Any violation of this chapter shall be deemed a non-criminal violation and shall not be a misdemeanor or infraction pursuant to G.S. § 14-4 or § 10.99 of the Town of Boone Code of Ordinances.
(G) If payment is not received or equitable settlement reached within 180 days after demand for payment is made, the matter shall be referred to the Town Attorney for initiation of a civil action in the name of the town in the appropriate division of the general court of justice of Watauga County for recovery of the penalty. In the event it is necessary for the town to institute a civil action to collect a civil penalty for the violation of any provision of any town ordinance, the offender shall pay all court costs, including filing fees, fees for service of process, and other expenses incurred in the litigation, such as costs of depositions, copying expenses and charges, and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred by the town.
(H) An alarm user may appeal the assessment of a fine or verified response status to the Chief of Police. The filing of an appeal with the Chief of Police stays the assessment of the fine or suspension until a final decision is made. The alarm user shall file a written appeal to the Chief of Police by setting forth the reasons for the appeal within ten days after receipt of notification of a false alarm. The Chief of Police will deliver a decision to the alarm user in writing.
(I) Businesses, such as financial institutions and other establishments, which utilize robbery or panic alarms, will not be placed on “verified response” status. Established robbery alarm response protocol will be followed. However, the civil fine schedule listed above will apply to false robbery, panic, and/or hold-up alarms.
(Ord. passed 4-16-2015)