Township of Chester, NJ
Morris County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Chester 9-8-1981 by Ord. No. 8:6-81. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Police Department — See Ch. 41.

§ 54-1 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the establishment and maintenance of an efficient, effective and uniform police and fire alarm system within the Township of Chester and to provide standards and regulations for alarm equipment, devices and systems to be installed or connected within the township. It shall be the policy of the township to encourage the installation of alarm devices as an aid to public safety. To ensure appropriate response the Police Department requires prior knowledge of all such systems connected, and the quality of installation and maintenance must achieve minimum feasible false alarms.

§ 54-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ALARM SYSTEM
Any device designed or used for detection of unauthorized entry or alerting others to the commission of an unlawful act, or both, and the detection of fire or smoke or similar hazards.

§ 54-3 Permit required.

[Amended 3-19-1996 by Ord. No. 96-4]
A. 
No person shall install, maintain or cause to be installed or maintained any police, fire or other emergency alarm system without first having been issued a permit pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, except that a smoke or heat detector system designed and intended solely to alert the occupants of a building to a potential or imminent danger shall not require a permit from the Police Department.
B. 
All police, fire or other emergency alarm systems must meet all applicable technical standards and requirements as defined by the Chief of Police. No alarm shall be transmitted via the 9-1-1 emergency telephone system.
C. 
This chapter shall also apply to all police and fire alarm systems installed prior to the effective date hereof.

§ 54-4 Permit application procedure; issuance; investigation.

[Amended 3-19-1996 by Ord. No. 96-4]
A. 
All applications for the issuance of a permit shall be made in writing to the Chief of Police on an application form provided. All such permits issued under this chapter shall expire on December 31 of the year in which they are granted and are subject to renewal.
B. 
The application form shall contain:
(1) 
The name, address and telephone number of the applicant.
(2) 
The location of the premises to be serviced.
(3) 
The name of the installer.
(4) 
The type of police alarm equipment.
(5) 
The provisions relating to false alarms and testing procedures.
(6) 
A list of persons to be contacted in the event of an alarm.
(7) 
Such other information as required by the Chief of Police.
C. 
The Chief of Police shall cause an investigation to be made, and thereafter, provided the application has complied with all the terms of this chapter and the rules and regulations promulgated and adopted pursuant thereto, shall then issue a permit.

§ 54-5 Conditions for granting permits.

A. 
No permit shall be granted except upon the following terms and conditions:
(1) 
The applicant shall furnish and complete all information required relating to the application and the police or fire alarm equipment to be installed or connected and data relating to the prevention of false alarms and testing procedures.
(2) 
The applicant shall maintain the equipment in good condition and repair, as needed.
B. 
No permit shall be transferred or assigned in any manner.
C. 
The permit is accepted upon the express condition that the applicant shall indemnify and hold the Township of Chester harmless from any and all damages arising out of the activities of the permittee and the alarm contractor.
D. 
The applicant, upon acceptance of such permit, thereby agrees to hold and save harmless the Township of Chester, its agents or employees from any and all liabilities whatsoever in connection with any such police alarm equipment or the operation and maintenance of the said alarm equipment.

§ 54-6 Revocation or suspension of permit.

Any permit issued under the provisions of this chapter may be suspended or revoked by the Chief of Police for any violation of or failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter or any rule or regulation promulgated by the Chief of Police, including the following:
A. 
The applicant willfully failed to and did not comply with a request by a member of the Police Department to proceed immediately to the premises.
B. 
The applicant knowingly installed or maintained a faulty alarm system. An inordinate number of false alarms shall be prima facie evidence that such alarm device is knowingly a faulty device.
C. 
The applicant has breached the terms and conditions of the permit.

§ 54-7 Procedure for revocation.

No permit shall be revoked or suspended without giving 30 days' notice, in writing, of such action and an opportunity to show cause before the Chief of Police why such action should not be taken. Any person aggrieved by the action or determination of the Chief of Police in the denial of a permit or in the suspension or revocation of any permit may appeal to the Mayor and Council of the Township of Chester.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original Section 8, False alarms, was repealed 6-1-1987 by Ord No. 8:6A-87.

§ 54-8 Fee for use of automatic telephone dialer.

[Amended 3-19-1996 by Ord. No. 96-4]
The fee for utilizing an alarm system that automatically dials the telephone of the Police Department and then reproduces a prerecorded message to report a robbery, burglary or other emergency shall be $100 per year.

§ 54-9 Automatic termination device required.

Each alarm system shall contain an automatic device that terminates (deactivates the alarm condition) no longer than 15 minutes after initiation.

§ 54-10 Rules and regulations.

A. 
The Chief of Police may make, prescribe and promulgate rules and regulations regarding the alarm equipment, devices or systems covered by this chapter.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The rules and regulations are on file in the Police Department.
B. 
Such rules and regulations shall be made, prescribed and promulgated:
(1) 
To sufficiently promote and ensure an effective and uniform police and fire alarm system and proper installation and connection.
(2) 
To provide for maintenance of records and efficient management of the alarm system, the speedy and accurate operation and reporting of alarms, minimizing mechanical failure, minimizing false alarms and the consequential dangers of the same to citizens of the Township of Chester.
(3) 
For the proper monitoring of alarms and prompt response to such alarms.
(4) 
For the prevention of jamming of the switchboard and the creation of nuisances or other interference or hindrance with the proper operation of duties of the Police Department.
C. 
Said rules and regulations and all changes thereof shall be subject to the approval of the Mayor and Council of the Township of Chester.

§ 54-11 Violations and penalties; false alarms; sanctions.

A. 
Any person who shall install, cause to be installed or maintain an alarm system without a permit in violation of § 54-3A shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $50.
B. 
Any person who shall connect or cause to be connected any equipment to the police department telephone system without a permit in violation of § 54-3B shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $250.
C. 
A permittee shall be accountable for false alarms caused by equipment failure or malfunction of the alarm system installed by the permittee's alarm installer or the permittee's alarm maintenance company.
D. 
A permittee shall not be held accountable for false alarms caused by severe weather conditions, electrical malfunctions, malfunctions of the alarm console located at a location designated by the Chief of Police of Chester Township or malfunction at telephone lines used to transport the alarm signal over which the permittee or the permittee's alarm installer or maintenance company have no control.
E. 
In the event of a false alarm, any person having knowledge thereof shall immediately notify the Chester Township Police Department in a manner to be prescribed by rules and regulations promulgated by the Chief of Police of Chester Township as may be established from time to time.[1] In addition, in the case of a false alarm, the Chief of Police of Chester Township shall cause an investigation to be made and keep a record of said alarms on file. For such false alarms, the following penalties are herein prescribed:
(1) 
For the first false alarm a written warning shall be issued by the Chief of Police.
(2) 
For the second false alarm occurring in any 12 month period, a fine of $60 shall be paid to the Township of Chester.
(3) 
For the third false alarm, and any subsequent false alarms, occurring within a twelve-month period, a minimum fine at $50 up to a maximum fine of $500 shall be paid to the Township of Chester.
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 54-10.
F. 
In the event of a third or subsequent false alarm within any twelve-month period as outlined above, an investigation shall be conducted by the Chief of Police of the Township of Chester, or the Fire Chief of the Chester Volunteer Fire Department, or their designee, as may be appropriate. Where the investigation discloses continued abuse or negligent operation of an alarm system and a disregard for the taking of remedial steps to avoid false alarms, the Chief of Police of the Township of Chester or the Fire Chief of the Chester Volunteer Fire Company may require disconnection of the alarm device for a limited or permanent period of time; provided, however, that the permittee shall be given written notice of the intended disconnection and shall have an opportunity, within 14 days of said notice, to show cause before the Township Council of the Township of Chester why such action should not be taken. The determination of the Township Council in such matters shall be based upon the effect on the general public health, safety and welfare of the continued use of the alarm system in question.
G. 
Failure to remit a required service fee or to comply with a Township of Chester Council determination that this connection is required shall subject the permittee to the penalty set forth herein. Each and every day the permittee fails to comply with said fees or determinations shall constitute a separate offense.