Chapter 8.14


8.14.010    Purpose.

8.14.020    Definitions.

8.14.030    Emergency response card.

8.14.040    Fees, corrective action, disconnection.

8.14.050    Administrative decisions – Notice.

8.14.060    Appeal from administrative decision – Finality.

8.14.070    Payment of fees required.

8.14.080    Automatic dialing device – Certain interconnections prohibited.

8.14.090    Automatic reset required.

8.14.010 Purpose.

It is the intent of this chapter to reduce the number of false alarms occurring within the city and the resultant waste of city resources by providing for corrective administrative action, including fees and potential disconnection and/or criminal penalties. (Ord. 645 § 1, 1991)

8.14.020 Definitions.

In this chapter, unless a different meaning plainly is required, the definitions contained in this section shall apply:

A. “Alarm business” means the business by any individual, partnership, corporation, or other entity of selling, leasing, maintaining, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving or installing any alarm system or causing to be sold, leased, maintained, serviced, repaired, altered, replaced, moved or installed any alarm system in or on any building, structure or facility.

B. “Alarm system” means any assembly of equipment, mechanical or electrical, arranged to signal the occurrence of an unauthorized or illegal entry or other activity requiring urgent attention and to which police are expected to respond.

C. “Alarm user” means the person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind in control of any building, structure or facility wherein an alarm system is maintained.

D. “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.

E. “Chief of police” includes his designee.

F. “False alarm” means an alarm signal, eliciting a response by police when a situation requiring a response by the police does not in fact exist. It does not include an alarm signal caused by violent conditions of nature or other extraordinary circumstance not reasonably subject to control by the alarm business operator or alarm user.

G. “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.

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. 645 § 1, 1991)

8.14.030 Emergency response card.

It is unlawful to have or maintain on any premises an alarm system unless there is on file with the police department an emergency response card containing the name or names and current telephone number or numbers of the person(s) authorized to enter such premises and turn off or reset any alarm at all hours of the day and night. Cards for alarms existing as of the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter must be filed with the police department within 90 days of the date upon which the ordinance codified in this chapter becomes effective. (Ord. 645 § 1, 1991)

8.14.040 Fees, corrective action, disconnection.

For police response to any false alarm, the city shall charge and collect from the alarm user such fees as established herein. In addition to the imposition of fees, the chief of police is authorized to conduct the following investigations:

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 civil penalty shall be charged. Upon first response, notice of conditions and requirements of this chapter shall be given to the alarm user or occupant of the premises on which the false alarm occurred and upon which the alarm system is located.

B. For a second response to premises within six months after the first response, a civil penalty of $75.00 shall be charged. The alarm user shall, within five working days after notice to do so, make a written report to the chief of police on prescribed forms setting forth:

1. The cause of such false alarm;

2. The corrective action taken;

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

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

The chief of police may direct the alarm user to have authorized service personnel inspect the alarm at such premises and to take other corrective action as prescribed by the chief of police. All costs of inspection and corrective action shall be borne by the alarm user having or maintaining the alarm on said premises.

C. For a third response to premises within six months after a second response, and for all succeeding responses within six months after a second response, and for all succeeding responses within six months of the last response, a civil penalty of $150.00 shall be charged, and if such third false alarm or any such succeeding false alarm occurs as a result of failure to take necessary corrective action prescribed under subsection (B) of this section, the chief of police may order the alarm user to disconnect such alarm until the prescribed corrective action is taken and certification of such corrective action is provided to the police department, provided that no disconnection shall be ordered relative to any premises required by law to have an alarm system in operation. (Ord. 645 § 1, 1991)

8.14.050 Administrative decisions – Notice.

A. Notice of imposition of any administrative sanction, including the imposition of a civil penalty or order of disconnection, under the provisions of this chapter, shall be sent by mail or delivered personally to the alarm user or a person of suitable age and discretion at the premises, provided, that with respect to business premises, schools or churches, mailing or personal delivery to the manager or chief administrative agent regularly assigned and employed on the premises at the time of the occurrence of a false alarm shall be presumed to be delivery to the alarm user.

B. The notice shall specify the sanctions imposed and shall advise the alarm user that unless a hearing is requested with the city administrator, as set forth in CHMC 8.14.060, the sanctions will be deemed final and nonappealable. (Ord. 645 § 1, 1991)

8.14.060 Appeal from administrative decision – Finality.

A. Any person subject to the imposition of a civil penalty and/or an order of disconnection or other administrative sanction under the terms of this chapter shall have a right of appeal therefrom to the city administrator upon filing a timely written request.

B. The request for a hearing must be made in writing and filed with the city administrator within 15 days of the date of the notice of administrative decision provided for in CHMC 8.14.050 or the decisions shall be deemed final. Upon receipt of a timely written request the city administrator shall schedule a hearing date and inform the alarm user of the date, time and place of the hearing. The city administrator 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 administrator determines that the false alarms are not caused by the alarm user or alarm user’s employees or agents and that reasonable steps have been taken to correct the problem, the civil penalty or other sanction may be suspended, in whole or in part. The city administrator shall keep a written report of the hearing including a statement of reasons for whatever action is taken. Any appeal from the city administrator’s decision shall be to a court having jurisdiction and must be perfected by filing the same within 10 days of the issuance date of the city administrator’s decision or be barred. (Ord. 645 § 1, 1991)

8.14.070 Payment of fees required.

The city administrator may authorize the city attorney to collect the fees by appropriate legal action. (Ord. 645 § 1, 1991)

8.14.080 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. It is unlawful for any person to fail to disconnect or reprogram such device within 12 hours of receipt of written notice from the chief of police to disconnect or reprogram the automatic dialing device. Any person violating this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. (Ord. 645 § 1, 1991)

8.14.090 Automatic reset required.

Within 180 days after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this section, all alarm systems maintained on any premises in the city shall have an automatic reset device which will cause the alarm to reset after 10 minutes of continuous audible operation. Any alarm user failing to install such an automatic reset device as required in this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. (Ord. 645 § 1, 1991)