Chapter 9.12
FALSE ALARMS

Sections:

9.12.010    Purpose.

9.12.020    Definitions.

9.12.030    Emergency response card—Violation—Abatement.

9.12.040    Unlawful activation or report of alarm.

9.12.050    Fees—Corrective action—Disconnection.

9.12.055    False alarms—Fees.

9.12.060    Administrative decision—Notice.

9.12.070    Appeal from administrative decision—Finality.

9.12.080    Automatic dialing device—Certain interconnections prohibited.

9.12.090    Automatic reset required.

9.12.100    Violation—Penalty.

9.12.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to reduce the number of false alarms occurring within the city and the resultant waste of city resources and potential dangers to citizens and public safety officers, by providing for collective administrative action, including fees, potential disconnection and criminal penalties for violations. (Ord. 97-33 § 1 (part), 1997)

9.12.020 Definitions.

The following definitions shall be applied in construing the provisions of this chapter:

A.    “Automatic dialing device” means a device which is interconnected and is programmed to select a predetermined telephone number and transmit by voice message or code signal an emergency message indicating a need for emergency response.

B.    “Cen-com” refers to centralized emergency communications which dispatches all emergency radio transmissions for the city of Poulsbo.

C.    “False alarm” means the activation of a burglary and/or robbery alarm by other than a forced entry, attempted forced entry, unlawful entry, robbery or attempted robbery on the premises and at a time when no robber, burglary or other crime involving a foreseeable risk of grievous bodily harm is being committed or attempted on the premises.

D.    “Interconnect” means to connect an alarm system, including an automatic dialing service, to a telephone line, either directly or through a mechanical device that utilizes a telephone, for the purpose of using the telephone line to transmit a message upon the activation of the alarm system.

E.    “Owner” means the person having or maintaining a burglary and/or robbery alarm on premises owned and/or occupied by him.

F.    “Person” means any natural person, partnership, corporation, joint stock company, or unincorporated association or society.

G.    “Police chief” means the Poulsbo police chief or his designee.

H.    “Response” shall be deemed to have occurred when the police department begins to proceed towards the premises as a result of the activation of the alarm. (Ord. 97-33 § 1 (part), 1997)

9.12.030 Emergency response card—Violation—Abatement.

A.    It is unlawful to have or maintain on any premises within the city of Poulsbo a burglary and/or robbery alarm unless an emergency response card containing the names of such persons authorized to enter such premises and turn off any alarms and the current telephone numbers at which such persons can be reached at all times is filed on an annual basis with the Poulsbo police department.

B.    It is unlawful for any such authorized person to fail to appear and turn off any such alarm within one hour after being notified by the Poulsbo police department to do so.

C.    Any alarm audible upon abutting property for a period in excess of one hour is declared to be a public nuisance and may be summarily abated by the Poulsbo police department; provided, one or more persons listed on an emergency response card on file with the Poulsbo police department, if any, has been requested to shut off the alarm and afforded a reasonable period of time not to exceed one hour to do so. (Ord. 97-33 § 1 (part), 1997)

9.12.040 Unlawful activation or report of alarm.

It is unlawful for any person to activate any robbery or burglary alarm for the purpose of summoning the Poulsbo police department except in the event of an actual or attempted burglary or robbery or other emergency. (Ord. 97-33 § 1 (part), 1997)

9.12.050 Fees—Corrective action—Disconnection.

A.    The police chief shall charge the owner of a burglar and/or robbery alarm an administrative fee as set forth in Section 9.12.055(A) for the filing of each annual emergency response card with the police department pursuant to Section 9.12.030 of the Poulsbo Municipal Code.

B.    For a police response to any false alarm, the city may charge and collect fees as set forth in Section 9.12.055(B) subject to the following requirements:

1.    The police chief shall give notice of conditions and requirements of this chapter to the owner after a first response.

2.    The police chief may charge the owner an administrative fee for a second response to the premises within six months after a first response as set forth in Section 9.12.055(B). The police chief may direct the owner to have authorized service personnel inspect the alarm at such premises and to take other corrective action as prescribed by the police chief. All costs of inspection and corrective action shall be borne by the owner. Following a second response to a false alarm, the owner shall, within five working days after notice to do so, make a written report to the police chief on a prescribed form setting forth:

a.    The cause of such false alarm;

b.    The corrective action taken;

c.    Whether and when such alarm has been inspected by authorized service personnel; and

d.    Such other information as the police chief may reasonably require to determine the cause of such false alarm, any mitigating circumstances and corrective action necessary.

3.    The police chief may charge the owner an administrative fee for the third response to a premises within six months after a second response and for each succeeding response within six months of the most recent response as set forth in Section 9.12.055(B). Following a third response or any succeeding false alarm which occurs as a result of failure to take necessary corrective action prescribed under subsection (B)(2) of this section, the police chief may order the owner to disconnect such alarm until proof that the prescribed corrective action has been taken is provided to the Poulsbo police department; provided, however, that no disconnection shall be ordered for any premises required by law or administrative regulation to have an alarm system in operation. (Ord. 2007-34 § 5, 2007: Ord. 2003-16 § 24, 2003: Ord. 97-33 § 1 (part), 1997)

9.12.055 False alarms—Fees.

A.    The administrative fee for filing each annual emergency response card with the police department shall be ten dollars.

B.    False Alarm Police Response—Fees. The city may charge the following fees for police response to false alarms as specified in Chapter 9.30 of the Poulsbo Municipal Code.

1.    No fee shall be charged for a first response to a premises at which no other false alarm has occurred within the preceding six-month period.

2.    The fee for a second response within six months shall be twenty-five dollars.

3.    The fee for a third response and for each succeeding response within six months of the most recent response shall be fifty dollars. (Ord. 2007-34 § 6, 2007)

9.12.060 Administrative decision—Notice.

A.    Notice of imposition of any administrative sanction, including the imposition of a fee and/or order of disconnection under the provisions of this chapter shall be sent by mail or delivered personally to the owner; provided, that with respect to business premises, mailing or personal delivery to the manager or chief administrative agent regularly assigned or employed at the premises at the time of the occurrence of a false alarm shall be deemed to be mailing or personal delivery to the owner.

B.    The notice shall specify the sanctions imposed and shall advise the owner that sanctions will be imposed unless he requests a hearing with the mayor as set forth in Section 9.12.070 by filing a written request with the city clerk within ten days of the date of the notice. (Ord. 97-33 § 1 (part), 1997)

9.12.070 Appeal from administrative decision—Finality.

A.    Any person subject to the imposition of a fee, order of disconnection or other administrative sanction under the terms of this chapter shall have a right to a hearing with the mayor upon filing a timely written request.

B.    The request for a hearing must be made in writing and filed with the city clerk within ten days of the date of notice of administrative decision required in Section 9.12.060. Upon receipt of a timely written request, the city clerk shall schedule a hearing date and inform the owner of the date, time and place of the hearing. The mayor shall consider the record of past false alarms, any corrective action taken and any inspection reports on the cause of the false alarm. If the mayor determines that the false alarms are not caused by the owner or his employees or agents and that reasonable steps have been taken to correct the problem, the fee or other sanction may be suspended, in whole or in part. The mayor shall keep a written report of the hearing including a statement of reasons for whatever action is taken.

C.    Administrative sanctions imposed pursuant to this chapter shall become final upon expiration of the period for filing an appeal when no timely appeal is filed, or upon announcement of a decision on the appeal when a timely appeal has been filed. (Ord. 97-33 § 1 (part), 1997)

9.12.080 Automatic dialing device—Certain interconnections prohibited.

It is unlawful for any person to program an automatic dialing device to select any telephone line assigned to the city or Cen-com, and it is unlawful for any person to fail to disconnect such device within twelve hours of receipt of oral or written notice from the police chief to disconnect the automatic dialing device. (Ord. 97-33 § 1 (part), 1997)

9.12.090 Automatic reset required.

All burglary and robbery alarms maintained on any premises in the city shall have an automatic reset device which will deactivate the alarm after ten minutes of continuous operation. Any owner failing to install such an automatic reset device as required in this section is guilty of a misdemeanor. (Ord. 97-33 § 1 (part), 1997)

9.12.100 Violation—Penalty.

Any person subject to the imposition of a fee, order of disconnection or other administrative sanction imposed pursuant to this chapter who fails to comply therewith after receiving notice of such sanction, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. (Ord. 97-33 § 1 (part), 1997)