Town of Bloomsburg, PA
Columbia County

§ 6-601
Purpose and Intent. 

§ 6-602
Definitions. 

§ 6-603
Violation. 

§ 6-604
Arrest of Violators. 

§ 6-605
Penalties. 

§ 6-606
Owners Required to Pay Police Service Costs. 

§ 6-607
Notice to Owners of Police Service Costs. 

§ 6-608
Collection of Police Service Costs. 

§ 6-609
Failure to Pay Police Service Costs. 

§ 6-601 Purpose and Intent.

[Ord. 856, 1/27/2003, § 1]

The Town Council of the Town of Bloomsburg finds and determines as follows:

A. 

That certain private properties require a disproportionate amount of police service with many calls requiring response to maintain order and public peace and safety and to stop public disturbances at parties or other social events so that there is less police personnel and resources available for other locations, emergencies and duties within the Town of Bloomsburg, thereby placing a disproportionate and unfair burden upon the residents of the Town of Bloomsburg.

B. 

That the host of a disorderly party or other social event and those persons attending such party or event should be held criminally responsible for any public disturbances or other acts of disorderly conduct thereat.

C. 

That owners of private properties derive a benefit from the aforesaid police service.

D. 

That owners of private properties have a responsibility to manage their properties to minimize required police service to maintain order and public peace and safety and to stop public disturbances, to minimize the burden upon the residents of the Town of Bloomsburg and to promote the health, safety and welfare of the public in general.

E. 

That owners of private properties can minimize required police service to maintain order and public peace and safety and to stop public disturbances by diligent and strict management and regulations of their properties.

F. 

That assessment of police service costs as provided in this Part is reasonable and will have a deterrent effect and encourage more responsible management of private properties.

G. 

That it is not the intent of this Part to discourage or suppress calls or requests for police service, but rather to encourage and stimulate diligent and strict management and regulation of private properties by the owner thereof and to promote the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the Town of Bloomsburg.

§ 6-602 Definitions.

[Ord. 856, 1/27/2003, § 2]

As used in this Part, the following terms shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates that a different meaning is intended:

DISORDERLY GATHERING
A gathering at which any public disturbance occurs.
GATHERING
A party or event involving a group of persons who have assembled or are assembling for a social occasion or activity on private property.
HOST
The person who owns, leases or is otherwise in possession and control of the private property where the gathering takes place and/or who organized, sponsored, conducted, hosted or permitted such gathering, invited persons to attend such gathering or was otherwise in charge of such gathering.
OWNERS
The person, persons, corporation or other entity who holds record title to the private property.
POLICE SERVICE COSTS
The cost to the Town of Bloomsburg for police services rendered in responding to a call at a disorderly gathering or otherwise maintaining order and public peace and safety and stopping public disturbances at a disorderly gathering including, but not limited to, the salaries and other compensation of police officers, appropriate administrative costs allocable thereto, prorated costs of equipment, the cost of repairing damaged Town of Bloomsburg equipment and property, and the cost of any medical treatment of injured police officers. This cost shall either be fixed from time to time by the Town Council of the Town of Bloomsburg, based upon the average cost for a typical police response or be determined on a case-by-case basis by the Chief of Police.
PRIVATE PROPERTY
Any land, building or other structure, including single and multifamily dwellings and commercial and industrial buildings not owned by a public entity.
PUBLIC DISTURBANCE(S)
Any act by a host or those persons attending a gathering involving public drunkenness, consumption of an alcoholic beverage in public, the serving of alcoholic beverages to minors, public urination or defecation, the unlawful deposit of trash or litter on public or private property, damage to or destruction of public or private property, the obstruction of public roads, streets, highways or sidewalks, interference with emergency or police services, unreasonable noise, use of profane or obscene language or gestures, indecent exposure, fighting or quarreling, or any other act defined as disruptive conduct by the Town of Bloomsburg's Code of Ordinances or any other conduct which otherwise disturbs, annoys, injures or endangers the health, safety or welfare of the residents of the Town of Bloomsburg residing in the neighborhood or vicinity of the gathering.
PUBLIC ENTITY
Any Federal, State or local government, school district or agency, or authority created or organized thereby.
PUBLIC PROPERTY
Any land, building or other structure owned by a public entity.

§ 6-603 Violation.

[Ord. 856, 1/27/2003, § 3]

No host or person attending a gathering shall commit any act of public disturbance. No host shall hold, conduct or have a gathering where any act of public disturbance occurs or continue a gathering where any act of public disturbance has occurred or is occurring.

§ 6-604 Arrest of Violators.

[Ord. 856, 1/27/2003, § 4]

In addition to the right to file a citation against violators under and pursuant to the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, police officers may also arrest a host or person attending a gathering who violates § 6-603 of this Part, provided that the police officer views the public disturbance and in the case of the host, the host is in attendance at the gathering at the time of such public disturbance, although nothing herein shall prevent a host from being cited for violation of § 6-603, whether or not any person attending the gathering is arrested or cited for a violation.

§ 6-605 Penalties.

[Ord. 856, 1/27/2003, § 5]

Any host or person who violates § 6-603 of this Part shall be guilty of the offense of disorderly gathering and upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 and/or be imprisoned for a period not to exceed 90 days.

§ 6-606 Owners Required to Pay Police Service Costs.

[Ord. 856, 1/27/2003, § 6]

An owner is required to pay police service costs to maintain order and public peace and safety and to stop public disturbances for each response by the police to a disorderly gathering in excess of one response during any thirty-day period of time.

§ 6-607 Notice to Owners of Police Service Costs.

[Ord. 856, 1/27/2003, § 7]

Whenever the police are called to respond to a disorderly gathering for the purpose of maintaining order and public peace and safety and stopping public disturbances, the Chief of Police or his duly authorized designee shall notify the owner of the private property where the disorderly gathering took place and also the agent of such property if the owner has designated an "agent" in accordance with the Town of Bloomsburg's Regulated Rental Unit Occupancy Ordinance, by regular mail at the last known address of such owner and operator, that the police were called to respond to a disorderly gathering at the owner's property for the purpose of maintaining order and public peace and safety and stopping public disturbances and that if the police are again called to respond to a disorderly gathering at such property within 30 days after their initial response, such owner shall be required to pay police service costs to the Town of Bloomsburg for such responses.

§ 6-608 Collection of Police Service Costs.

[Ord. 856, 1/27/2003, § 8]

After the second response to a disorderly gathering within 30 days as provided in § 6-607 of this Part, the Chief of Police or his duly authorized designee shall notify the Town of Bloomsburg Treasurer, in writing, of the name and address of the owner of the private property where the disorderly gathering took place, the dates of the initial and subsequent response(s) and the total amount of police service costs incurred for or during such responses. The Town of Bloomsburg Treasurer or his/her duly authorized designee shall then bill the owner for the said amount, which shall be due and payable to the Town of Bloomsburg within 30 days of such billing.

§ 6-609 Failure to Pay Police Service Costs.

[Ord. 856, 1/27/2003, § 9]

Any police service costs which have not been paid within 30 days of the billing therefore may be collected, together with a penalty of 10% thereof and interest at the rate of 10% per annum added thereto, by civil action against the owner and/or may be imposed or assessed against the owner's private property as a municipal claim as provided by law.