Chapter 8.16


8.16.010    Purpose.

8.16.020    Definitions.

8.16.030    Emergency response card – Violation – Abatement.

8.16.040    Unlawful activation or report of alarm.

8.16.050    False alarms – Fees assessed.

8.16.060    Administrative decision – Notice.

8.16.070    Appeal from administrative decision – Finality.

8.16.080    Penalty.

8.16.010 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 corrective administrative action, including fees, potential disconnection and criminal penalties for violations. (Ord. 1161 § 1, 1990).

8.16.020 Definitions.

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

A. “Chief of police” means the Burlington police chief or his designee.

B. “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 robbery, burglary or other crime involving a foreseeable risk of grievous bodily harm is being committed or attempted on the premises.

C. “Owner” means the person in custody or control of a premises having a burglary and/or robbery alarm.

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

E. “Response” shall be deemed to have occurred when the Burlington police department begins to proceed towards the premises as a result of the activation of the alarm. (Ord. 1161 § 2, 1990).

8.16.030 Emergency response card – Violation – Abatement.

A. It is unlawful to have or maintain on any premises within the city a burglary and/or robbery alarm unless there is on file, with the Burlington police department, an emergency response card containing the names of persons who have consented and are authorized and given the means to enter such premises and turn off any alarms and current telephone numbers at which such persons can be reached at all times. This prohibition shall not apply to anyone who did not know of the existence of this chapter, unless the city establishes that it provided actual notice of the chapter to the violator.

B. It is unlawful for any such authorized person to fail to appear and turn off any such alarm located on a nonresidential premises within one hour after being notified by the Burlington police department that their failure to do so could result in their being fined.

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 Burlington police department, provided one or more persons listed on an emergency response card on file with the Burlington 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. 1161 § 3, 1990).

8.16.040 Unlawful activation or report of alarm.

It is unlawful for anyone to activate any robbery or burglary alarm for the purpose of summoning police except in the event of an actual or attempted burglary or robbery in progress. It is unlawful for anyone notifying the police of an activated alarm and having knowledge that such activation was apparently caused by an electrical or other malfunction of the alarm system to fail at the same time to notify the police of such apparent malfunction. (Ord. 1161 § 4, 1990).

8.16.050 False alarms – Fees assessed.

For a police response to any false alarm the chief of police shall charge and collect from the person having or maintaining such burglary and/or robbery alarm on premises owned or occupied by him, and such person shall pay fees as follows:

A. For a response to premises at which no other false alarm has occurred within the preceding six-month period, hereinafter referred to as a “first response,” no fee shall be charged, but the person having or maintaining such a burglary and/or robbery alarm shall within three working days after notice to do so make a written report to the chief of police on forms prescribed by him setting forth the cause of such false alarm, the corrective action taken, whether such alarm has been inspected by an authorized service person, and such other information as the chief of police may reasonably require to determine the cause of such false alarm and corrective action necessary.

B. For a second response to premises within six months after a first response no fee shall be charged, but a written report shall be required as in the case of a first response and the chief of police shall be authorized to inspect or cause to be inspected, at owner’s expense, the alarm system at such premises, prescribe necessary corrective action, and shall give notice to the person having or maintaining such alarm system of the conditions and requirements of this section.

C. For a third response to the premises within six months after a second response, and for all succeeding responses, a fee adopted by city council resolution shall be charged and if such third false alarm, or any such succeeding false alarm, is as a result of failure to take necessary corrective action prescribed by the chief of police, said chief of police may order the disconnection of such alarm system and it shall be unlawful to reconnect such alarm system until after such corrective action is taken; provided, that no disconnection shall be ordered as to any premises required by law to have an alarm system in operation. (Ord. 1799 § 15, 2014; Ord. 1446 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1412 § 1, 1999; Ord. 1161 § 5, 1990).

8.16.060 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 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 city supervisor by filing a written request with the city supervisor within 10 days of the date of the notice. (Ord. 1161 § 6, 1990).

8.16.070 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 before the city mayor or his designee upon filing a timely written request.

B. The request for a hearing must be made in writing and filed with the city mayor or his designee within 10 days of the date of notice of administrative decision required herein. Upon receipt of a timely written request, the city mayor or his designee shall schedule a hearing date and inform the owner of the date, time and place of the hearing. The city mayor or his designee 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 city mayor or his designee 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 city mayor or his designee 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. 1161 § 7, 1990).

8.16.080 Penalty.

Unless otherwise provided, any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000. (Ord. 1161 § 8, 1990).