Chapter 8.20


8.20.010    Title and purpose.

8.20.020    Authority.

8.20.030    Adoption of ordinance.

8.20.040    Testing.

8.20.050    Responsibility and liability.

8.20.060    Notifying the Police Department of alarm system(s).

8.20.070    Fees for answering alarms.

8.20.010 Title and purpose.

The title of this chapter is the Town of East Troy False Alarm Ordinance. The purpose of this chapter is to reduce preventable or avoidable false alarms relayed to the Town of East Troy Police Department. The Town Board finds that the continued high incidence of false alarms is a threat to the health, safety and welfare of the citizens and the Police Department personnel of the Town of East Troy. The high incidence of false alarms causes the significant use of Police Department resources by the dispatch of police units to the scene of nonemergency alarm reports, which renders the responding officer(s) unavailable to respond to other emergency situations. The Town Board finds that this chapter is needed to ensure efficient use of the Town’s resources and effective response to requests for police aid and is in the public interest. It is further intended that persons who cause unnecessary false alarms should bear the cost of police services provided.

For purposes of this chapter, “alarm” or “alarm system” shall mean all alarms, bells, horns, whistles or other devices designed to alert of impending burglary, theft, property damage, trespass, or any other threat against a property. “Alarm” or “alarm system” shall also refer to any alarm or device designed to warn of fire. (Ord. 2017-2 § 1. 2008 code § 9.07(1))

8.20.020 Authority.

The Town Board has been given authority under Wis. Stat. § 60.56 to provide police services to the residents of the Town. 1983 Wisconsin Act 532 authorizes towns to charge persons, or property owners, a portion or all of the costs of Fire Department response, and Wis. Stat. § 941.13 provides, “Whoever intentionally gives a false alarm to any public officer or employee, whether by means of a false alarm system or otherwise, is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.” The Wisconsin Attorney General has opined that the prohibition extends to security system false alarms as well as fire alarms. 72 Op. Att’y Gen. 153, 154 (1983). (Ord. 2017-2 § 1. 2008 code § 9.07(2))

8.20.030 Adoption of ordinance.

The ordinance codified in this chapter, adopted by a majority of the Town Board with a quorum present and voting and proper notice having been given, provides for the regulation and penalization of false alarms in the Town. (Ord. 2017-2 § 1. 2008 code § 9.07(3))

8.20.040 Testing.

No business owner or homeowner within the Town of East Troy with an alarm system designed to transmit emergency messages to the Town of East Troy Police Department shall test or demonstrate their alarm without prior notification to the department. (Ord. 2017-2 § 1. 2008 code § 9.07(4))

8.20.050 Responsibility and liability.

Alarms shall be maintained so as not to cause false alarms. (Ord. 2017-2 § 1. 2008 code § 9.07(5))

8.20.060 Notifying the Police Department of alarm system(s).

A person installing an automatic alarm system shall notify the Police Chief with the following information:

1.    Name, address, phone number of the person having an alarm installed.

2.    Location of the alarm in the building or area protected where alarm is installed.

3.    The type of alarm or alarms installed. (Ord. 2017-2 § 1. 2008 code § 9.07(6))

8.20.070 Fees for answering alarms.

1.    Each false alarm requires the response of Town Police Department personnel, increases the risk of injury to persons or damage to property, and dilutes the overall public safety for Town residents. Such false alarms constitute a nuisance and must be abated.

2.    No person shall intentionally cause the activation of an alarm system knowing that no fire, break-in, or other emergency exists on or near the premises.

3.    Any person owning or maintaining an alarm system shall pay a fee for each false alarm to which the Town of East Troy Police Department responds pursuant to the fee schedule below:

a.    First false alarm for a location: no charge.

b.    Second false alarm for a location: $100.00.

c.    Third false alarm for a location: $200.00.

d.    Fourth and subsequent false alarms for a location: $250.00.

e.    If the false alarm is found to be intentional: $500.00 per offense.

4.    Notwithstanding the above, if the possessor of the alarm can show to the satisfaction of the Police Chief that the false alarm was not the result of negligence or improper maintenance, such fee may be waived. (Ord. 2017-2 § 1. 2008 code § 9.07(7))