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A. Intentional False Alarms Prohibited: It is unlawful for any person to cause or permit to be caused the activation of an alarm system knowing the transmitted signal to be false or, by spoken word or otherwise, information indicating an alarm which is false. (1988 Code § 4-2-8)
B. Repeated False Alarms; Nuisance Declared: The police chief may designate an alarm system at a specific location as a nuisance if the alarm system activates excessive false alarms. It is determined that four (4) false burglary alarms within any six (6) consecutive calendar month period, or four (4) false robbery alarms within any six (6) consecutive calendar month period, or four (4) false medical alert calls within any six (6) consecutive calendar month period is excessive and thereby constitutes a public nuisance. False alarms generated by violent conditions of nature, acts of God, and not the result of the negligence of the alarm user, his employees, or alarm agents shall not be considered as nuisance alarms. (1988 Code § 4-2-9)
C. Warning Notice: When any alarm system generates three (3) false alarms within a consecutive one hundred eighty (180) day period, the police department shall send a warning notice to both the alarm subscriber and alarm business or the proprietor alarm owner that, upon the fourth subsequent false alarm within said period, the notified parties will be subject to the sanctions as provided herein. (1988 Code § 4-2-11)
D. Police Review Of False Alarms:
1. Any alarm system which has four (4) or more false alarms within a six (6) consecutive calendar month period shall be subject to assessment as provided herein.
2. If the police department records four (4) or more false alarms within a six (6) consecutive calendar month period:
a. The police department shall notify both the alarm subscriber and alarm business or the proprietor alarm owner by mail of such fact and direct that a report be submitted to the police chief within ten (10) working days of the date of the mailing. The report shall contain:
(1) A description of the action taken or to be taken to discover and eliminate the cause of the false alarm.
(2) Specific defenses, if any, why the alleged false alarms should not be considered false alarms. Evidence that a false alarm was caused by an act of God, common cause or action of the telephone company shall constitute affirmative defenses to an assessment for the particular false alarm.
b. The report required in subsection D2a of this section shall be received by the police chief or his designee within the time specified. If the report is not timely submitted, any notified party shall be deemed to have waived his right to any further review or hearing as provided herein, and the alarm business and alarm subscriber or the proprietor alarm owner operating the alarm system generating the false alarms will be assessed pursuant to subsection D2e of this section.
c. If the report required by subsection D2a of this section is submitted, the police chief or his designee shall review the corrective action taken or to be taken to discover and eliminate the cause of the false alarms and the specific defenses, if any, set forth in the report to the initial determination of false alarms. If it is determined that the corrective action taken or to be taken will substantially reduce the likelihood of false alarms or that a valid defense to the initial determination of false alarms has been accepted, a notice will be sent to all notified parties that no assessment will be made at that time. The notice shall specifically set forth the findings and conclusions of the police chief with respect to the review of the report submitted.
d. If the police chief or his designee determines that the action taken or to be taken will not substantially reduce the likelihood of false alarms or that a defense to the initial determination of false alarms has not been alleged or accepted, a notice shall be sent by mail to both the alarm subscriber and alarm business or the proprietor alarm owner that they will be assessed pursuant to subsection D2e of this section. The notice of decision shall contain the specific findings and conclusions of the police chief with respect to the review of the report submitted.
e. Assessments imposed pursuant to subsections D2b and D2d of this section shall be in an amount of twenty five dollars ($25.00) per false alarm. The alarm subscriber shall be responsible for the payment of assessments imposed his their alarm system. The owner of a proprietor alarm shall be responsible for the payment of assessments imposed upon a proprietor alarm system. Payments shall be made within ten (10) working days of the mailing date for the assessment. (1988 Code § 4-2-12)
E. Appeal Procedures:
1. Any party aggrieved by a decision of the police chief or his designee made pursuant to subsection D2c or D2d of this section may, within ten (10) working days of receipt of notice of the decision, appeal to a hearing by the town manager, his designee or any appeals board established by the town. A copy of the appeal shall be sent to the police chief or his designee.
2. The request for an appeal to the town manager shall set forth the specific objections to the decision of the police chief which forms the basis of the appeal.
3. The town manager shall set the time and place for the hearing within ten (10) working days or as soon as practical for the manager or his designee.
4. The hearing process shall be informal, but the decision of the manager shall be final.
a. All parties have the right to present evidence in support of or in opposition to the decision of the police chief.
b. The manager shall not be bound by the technical rules of evidence.
c. The manager shall affirm the assessment imposed or reverse the decision of the police chief or his designee.
d. In the case of an appeal being affirmed by the manager, the assessment shall be paid within ten (10) working days of the appeal decision. (1988 Code § 4-2-13)
F. Payment Of Assessment; Consequences Of Nonpayment: Upon a final determination of assessment pursuant to this chapter, the responsible party shall tender the fee assessed within ten (10) working days of the date ordered or discontinue operation of the alarm system. In the event the operation of said alarm is not discontinued and the assessment not tendered, its continued operation by the alarm subscriber or proprietor alarm shall be determined unlawful and subject the alarm subscriber or proprietor alarm to a misdemeanor violation as a public nuisance subject to arrest/citation. (1988 Code § 4-2-14)
G. Grace Period:
1. Newly installed and reinstalled alarm systems shall not be subject to the provisions of this chapter relating to the counting and assessment of false alarms for a period of thirty (30) days from the date the alarm system becomes operational. The grace period does not apply if the alarm business or proprietor alarm owner fails to notify the police chief or his designee in writing within ten (10) calendar days of the completion of installation or reinstallation. The written notice shall specify the date the system was installed or reinstalled. (1988 Code § 4-2-15)
2. The alarm business or proprietor alarm owner will be responsible for notifying the police department of any newly installed or reinstalled alarm system within ten (10) calendar days of its installation, whether monitored by the alarm system business, the town or the county. The notification shall contain the name, address and phone number of the responsible party for the alarm business or proprietor alarm, plus alternate names and numbers. It shall be unlawful for any business alarm or proprietor alarm owner to fail to make such notification.
3. The police department shall be responsible for acknowledging the receipt of every new business or proprietor alarm notification within five (5) days of mailing, and shall be responsible for updating its responsible party files for every business alarm and proprietor alarm within the town, for which it monitors, every one hundred eighty (180) calendar days.
4. Every business alarm owner and proprietor alarm user shall advise the police department of any name change, alarm system change, responsible party change or phone number changes within forty eight (48) hours of the changeover. (1988 Code § 4-2-15; amd. 2004 Code)