Village of Freeport, NY
Nassau County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Freeport 8-9-2010 by L.L. No. 2-2010.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Security systems — See Ch. 73.
Peace and good order — See Ch. 55.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed former Ch. 72, Alarm Systems, adopted 3-8-1993 by L.L. No. 1-1993.

§ 72-1 Purpose and intent.

A. 
The unregulated transmission of automatic alarm systems to police headquarters in the Village has, from time to time, resulted in the overtaxing of facilities and in the impairment of the ability of the Police and Fire Departments of the Village to respond to true emergencies. Additionally, the continued and unnecessarily prolonged emission of sound from audible alarm systems to the surrounding community and the difficulties and delays encountered in silencing such systems have disturbed the rest and repose of residents of the Village and have caused police, fire, and other Village personnel to spend excessive amounts of time both in the investigation of those alarms and in the attempted silencing of them, thereby preventing the devotion of such time to the protection and general welfare of the inhabitants of the Village.
B. 
It is necessary to the general welfare, peace and repose of the Village to protect its residents through the establishment of controls of various types of fire, intrusion, holdup, and other emergency signals from fire and police alarm devices which require Fire Department or Police Department response, investigation or safeguarding of property at the location of an event reported by a signal transmitted by telephone or radio or otherwise relayed to the Police Department or the Fire Department by an alarm device requiring investigation or other action by any person acting in response to a signal activated by any alarm device.
C. 
The purpose and intent of this chapter is to decrease the number of emergency service requests for dispatch or response attributable to false alarms and to improve the availability of police, fire, and other personnel for the handling of emergency situations. It is hereby declared that the noise emanating from audible alarms which continue to sound either without the existence of an emergency situation or after the emergency situation has ended constitutes a public nuisance.

§ 72-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ALARM SYSTEM
Any transmission to a privately operated central alarm station; or any device which transmits without human initiative an alert to the Village of Freeport police, fire, or any emergency service that an emergency exists or that a dispatch or response is requested at a particular premises, location not a premises, or a vehicle at a public road. "Alarm system" shall also mean any alarm device which automatically emits an audible, visual or other response upon the occurrence of any hazard or emergency and is intended to alert persons outside the building to the existence of said hazard or emergency. "Alarm system" shall not include personal panic medical alarms or any alarm triggered by the failure of a human physiological system.
ALARM SYSTEM INSTALLER
Any person that installs, repairs, maintains or in any manner makes operable an alarm system. A qualified fire alarm technician shall be an alarm system installer for purposes of this chapter.
ALARM SYSTEM SUBSYSTEM
That portion of an alarm system designed for a particular type of detection, such as intrusion detection, fire detection, fire suppression, flooding, hazardous gas detection, vehicular crash detection, and any other type detection. Detection types shall be determined by the type of hazard monitored and not by the technology used by the sensor.
ALARM USER
Any person or entity that contracts with a central alarm station, controls an alarm system or is in control of a premises that is protected by an alarm system. "Alarm user" shall also include any person or entity that installs an alarm system after the effective date of this chapter who has not filed a permit application for said installation or has not completed the requirements for issuance of a valid permit within 30 days of said installation.
AUTHORIZED RESPONDER
For each emergency service the commanding officer at the alarm location or a member of the emergency service at the alarm location empowered by a command officer of the responding service to determine the cause of the alarm for reporting purposes and including for the determination of a false alarm.
CENTRAL ALARM STATION
Any facility connected to a fire, police or other emergency service alarm system, which facility is manned by operators who receive, record or validate alarm signals and relay information about such validated signals to the Police, Fire Department, or other emergency service.
COOPERATIVE SECURITY SYSTEM
An alarm system that allows for the simultaneous monitoring by a Village emergency service or that, upon notification from a central alarm station or from the alarm user, allows the emergency service to view images or data related to the alarm notification collected from the alarm system's sensors or cameras in use at the protected location.
DISPATCH
A discretionary decision whether to direct police, fire, or other emergency units to a location where there has been a request, made by whatever means, for police assistance or investigation, fire control, ambulatory service, or hazardous material containment or control. A recall or cancellation of the alert or message prior to the arrival of the first responder shall not be a dispatch for the purposes of this chapter.
EMERGENCY NUMBER
Any telephone number designated by the Village as a telephone number through which members of the public may report an emergency or request public assistance.
EMERGENCY SERVICE
The Police Department, Fire Department, ambulance/emergency medical service operated by the Village or the Village Office of Emergency Management, or any emergency service that is not operated by the Village but is requested to respond within the Village and does so respond.
FALSE ALARM
Any dispatch or response at which an authorized responder for the responding emergency service has determined is not the result of a fire, holdup, robbery or other crime or emergency pursuant to the criteria promulgated by the emergency service for the determination of causes for reporting purposes or according to the criteria set out in this chapter.
FIRST RESPONDER
Any member of the emergency service arriving at the requested alarm location as the result of a dispatch or response, for each service dispatched or responding.
KEY BOX
A UL-listed box, size and style approved by the Fire Official, that meets the requirements and uses the same security key code adopted by the Fire Department.
MAYOR
The Mayor of the Village, who shall exercise supervision over the conduct of the Police Department, Fire Department, and any Village emergency service.
MONITORED SYSTEM
Any alarm system monitored by a central alarm station.
NUISANCE FIRE ALARM
A false alarm determined to be caused by mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation, lack of proper maintenance or any other cause which in the judgment of the authorized responder requires a repair of the device or reinstallation of any portion of the alarm system.
PERNICIOUS OFFENDER
Any person accumulating three or more convictions of violations of this chapter based upon separate violation dates over an eighteen-month period.
PERSON
An individual, corporation, partnership, joint venture, association, company, trust, unincorporated organization or other entity, and shall include any other person that has a substantial interest in or effectively controls such person, as well as the individual officers, directors, general partners, trustees, or other individuals in control of the activities of each such person.
PREMISES
That portion of a structure where there is a unity of control by the alarm user over the alarm system.
QUALIFIED FIRE ALARM TECHNICIAN
Any person who inspects, installs, repairs, or performs maintenance on fire alarm systems or the fire detection portion of an alarm system. This person shall be any one of the following:
A. 
Factory trained and certified;
B. 
National Institute of Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) Fire Alarm Level II certified; or
C. 
Licensed or certified by state or local authority.
RESPONSE
Either a dispatch or any answer to an alert or message from an alarm system or from a central alarm station which results in the deployment of police, fire, ambulatory service, or hazardous material containment or control services to the location requested. A recall or cancellation of the alert or message prior to the arrival of the first responder shall not be a response for the purposes of this chapter.
SECURITY CAP
A Fire Department connection (FDC) plug and cap approved for use in the Village by the Fire Department utilizing two-and-one-half-inch National Standard thread pattern.
SECURITY PADLOCK
A padlock approved by the Fire Department that utilizes the approved key code utilized by the Fire Department.
VILLAGE
The Incorporated Village of Freeport.

§ 72-3 Requirements for permits.

A. 
Permits required; duration; renewals; time frame for compliance.
(1) 
It shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter for an alarm user to operate or maintain in operable condition an alarm system protecting a premises within the Village without first obtaining a valid alarm system permit issued by the Village Clerk. An alarm system is in operable condition if it is capable of sending an alarm signal or transmission, or creating a visual or audio alert. All alarm systems shall be monitored by a central alarm station unless this requirement is expressly waived by the emergency service approving the permit.
(2) 
A separate permit is required for each premises protected by an alarm system, said permit to have a duration of three years. A subpermit pursuant to this section is required for each additional subsystem except that multiple detection subsystems may be combined under the same permit to the extent each subsystem is controlled by the same alarm user and located at the same address or within the same vehicle. Mobile or vehicular-based alarm systems shall not require a permit.
(3) 
A permit shall expire three years from the date of issuance and may be renewed for additional three-year periods by the submission of a renewal application and payment of permit renewal fees as required by this chapter. Subpermits may be issued at any time for up to three years, but the duration may not extend beyond the expiration date of the permit.
(4) 
Alarm systems operating previous to the effective date of this chapter must be in compliance with the provisions of this chapter, excepting the rapid entry requirements, within four months of said effective date.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for an alarm system installer to install an alarm system protecting a premises within the Village prior to filing a completed permit application with the Village Clerk on behalf of the alarm user unless the installer has confirmed that the user already holds a permit for the type of alarm system or subsystem to be installed. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the alarm user, not the alarm system installer, shall be deemed the permit applicant and permit holder for all purposes. An alarm permit may not be transferred or assigned to another person without the filing of a new permit application.
C. 
No alarm system permit shall be issued unless approved by the commanding officer of the emergency service whose dispatch or response may be requested by the alarm system or central station. Each emergency service shall designate the information to be collected on the permit application as is reasonably necessary to carry out the intent and purpose of this chapter, and the Village Clerk, in consultation with and with the approval of the Village Attorney, shall include such on the alarm permit application. The Village Clerk shall have authority to determine the document handling and storage procedures for all alarm systems permits.
D. 
As a prerequisite to the issuance of a permit, an officer of the central alarm station named in the permit application must provide written consent to the Village Clerk confirming that the subject premises is being monitored and agreeing to abide by the requirements of this chapter or the regulations and rules promulgated by the Police and Fire Departments pursuant to this chapter.
E. 
Prohibition against false statements; notification of changes.
(1) 
It shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter to make any material statement or provide materially false information on the alarm system application. An alarm system installer filing on behalf of an alarm user declaration based upon all information of which the installer has any knowledge.
(2) 
It shall be the continuing duty of the alarm user to notify the Clerk of any change of material information relating to the permitted alarm system. Failure to so notify the Clerk of a change in material information within 10 days of the effective date of such change is unlawful and a violation of this chapter.
(3) 
The Village Clerk shall advise the affected emergency service of any changes in the information contained in the permit application on an ongoing basis and as said changes shall occur. The Village Clerk is authorized to establish procedures for the collection of material information from alarm users and the dissemination of said information to the various emergency services. Said authorization shall extend but not be limited to the establishment of shared files, including electronic files, in a manner in which in the judgment of the Village Clerk will best achieve the collection and dissemination of material permit information.

§ 72-4 Denial, suspension or revocation of permit; hearing.

A. 
The Village Clerk may deny issuance of a permit or suspend an existing alarm permit for any of the following reasons:
(1) 
Upon a reasonable determination based upon any record of the Village or any filing with the Clerk that indicates that the alarm user is no longer in control of the alarm system.
(2) 
Upon the failure to pay within the prescribed time any fee or civil assessment authorized by this chapter.
(3) 
Upon the notice from an emergency service that the alarm user has failed to comply with an order to service or repair an alarm system.
(4) 
Upon notice from the Clerk of the Village Court that the alarm user has failed to pay a fine imposed by the Village Court as a sentence for a condition for a violation of this chapter.
(5) 
Upon discovery of a materially false statement on the alarm permit application.
B. 
Notice of suspension.
(1) 
Upon suspension of an alarm permit, the Village Clerk shall cause a notice of suspension to be served upon the alarm user at the address of record or other address obtained by the Clerk from any public record that the Clerk reasonably believes will provide actual notice.
(2) 
Said notice of suspension shall state the reason for the suspension, the indentity or the source of the records relied upon to make the determination, the actions required to cure or reinstate the permit, including the time allotted for compliance, and the consequences of a failure to cure or reinstate the permit.
(3) 
The alarm user shall have 10 business days from the date of the notice of suspension to cure the reason(s) for the suspension.
C. 
Revocation of permit.
(1) 
It shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter to operate an alarm system with a revoked permit.
(2) 
The Village Clerk may revoke an alarm system permit for any of the following reasons:
(a) 
There has been no compliance with the requirements set forth in a notice of suspension served pursuant to this chapter.
(b) 
Upon notification by a licensing authority with coordinate jurisdiction over an alarm system or upon discovery by any means that the coordinate licensor has revoked its license due to any nonfinancial reason.
(c) 
Upon notification of conviction as a pernicious offender.
(3) 
A revoked permit may be reissued if the alarm user:
(a) 
Submits an updated permit application and pays the permit fee set by the Board of Trustees.
(b) 
Pays or otherwise disposes of all penalties and fines assessed to the person pursuant to this chapter.
(c) 
Submits proof that the alarm system has been inspected and properly maintained.
D. 
Hearing.
(1) 
A person whose alarm permit application, whether for initial issuance or renewal, has been denied or a person whose alarm permit has been revoked in accordance with the provisions of this chapter may request a hearing before a member of the Board of Trustees designated as the hearing officer by the Mayor. A request for such a hearing shall be made, in writing, to the Village Clerk, by a person whose alarm permit application has been denied or whose alarm permit has been revoked, not more than 30 days after notice of such denial or revocation has been mailed by the Village Clerk to said applicant or permit holder. Said hearing shall be conducted within 30 days of the filing of said appeal, unless for good cause shown said hearing is adjourned or rescheduled, either at the request of the person appealing or by the hearing officer on its own motion. At the hearing, the person shall be heard in his or her defense in person or by counsel and may offer evidence and testimony on his or her behalf. The hearing officer may administer oaths, take testimony, subpoena witnesses, and compel the production of books, papers, records, and documents deemed pertinent to the hearing. Within 30 days of the close of said hearing, the Board of Trustees shall issue a determination either upholding in whole or in part, modifying or overruling the determination of the Village Clerk in denying or revoking said permit. If the Board of Trustees fails to act within 30 days of the close of said hearing, the determination of the hearing officer is deemed to be upheld by the Board of Trustees and becomes the determination of the Board of Trustees. Said determination shall be filed in the office of the Village Clerk and a, copy mailed to the appellant by the Clerk. Said determination shall be deemed final for purposes of appeal and judicial review pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
(2) 
A determination in favor of the applicant by the hearing officer pursuant to the provisions of § 72-4D(1) authorizes the Mayor to approve said application and issue the permit.
E. 
For any service as required by this chapter, service by first class mail shall be sufficient service and shall be deemed served when the same is deposited in a post office or an official depository under the exclusive care and custody of the United States Postal Service within New York State.

§ 72-5 Fees.

A. 
The Board of Trustees, by resolution, shall adopt and from time to time may amend a schedule of fees payable by an alarm user, including fees on the occasion of application, revocation, suspension, renewal, and subpermit fees and installing, operating or maintaining an alarm system, or any transfer, assignment, renewal or reinstatement thereof.
B. 
All departments, offices, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States and the State of New York, as well as all political subdivisions of the State of New York, including school districts and special districts, shall be exempt from the payment of the fees adopted by the Board of Trustees.

§ 72-6 False alarms prohibited.

A. 
It shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter for any person to intentionally, recklessly, negligently, carelessly or erroneously cause a false alarm. The permit holder, the owner or lessee of property having an alarm system on his or her premises, and any user of services or equipment furnished by the licensee under this chapter, each shall be responsible for any false alarms; but the permit holder of the alarm system shall be ultimately responsible for any insufficient or inadequate instructions to tenants, employees, agents, children or others concerned with or having access to the operation of the alarm system. A determination made by an authorized first responder pursuant to §§ 72-9 and 72-10 herein shall be presumptive evidence of a violation of this section.
B. 
Fees.
(1) 
A permit holder shall pay to the Village a fee for each and every false alarm to which the Police or Fire Department responds and for which said department has made a determination of a false alarm or a nuisance false alarm for said response, counting from the date of the most recent permit or renewal of permit; said fees are as per Appendix A.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Said Appendix is on file in the Village offices.
(2) 
Said fees shall be paid to the Village Clerk within 10 business days of the date notice was served by the Village Clerk on the permit holder. The failure to pay any such charges within said period shall subject such permit holder to the penalty provisions of § 72-16 of this chapter.
C. 
Alarm activations excluded from the definition of the term "false alarm" as defined in § 72-2 of this chapter shall not be counted for the purposes of Subsection A of this section.
D. 
It shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter for any central alarm station to send a residential intrusion alert to the Police Department without first attempting a verification of the intrusion.

§ 72-7 Fire alarm activation; response.

A. 
The alarm user shall be responsible for any alert sent by a fire alarm system.
B. 
Notification of user; verification of alert; cancellation.
(1) 
At the time of response, the authorized responder shall notify the designated agent for the alarm system and shall require such person to respond to the premises.
(2) 
In the event the fire alarm system is central-alarm-station-monitored, it is the responsibility of the central alarm system to notify the alarm user or agent.
(3) 
In the event the residential fire alarm system is central-alarm-station-monitored, it is the responsibility of the alarm system installer to offer the alarm user the option to verify the fire alert before dispatch.
(4) 
In the event the residential fire alarm system is a monitored system, it is the responsibility of the central alarm system to forward cancellation of a fire alert to the fire department.
C. 
The first responder shall serve the owner or authorized representative with a fire alarm activation report.

§ 72-8 Nuisance alarms.

A. 
In the event the activation of a fire alarm system is deemed by the enforcement official to be a nuisance fire alarm, the alarm user shall be served with a fire alarm activation report by the first responder or the Village Clerk, indicating that the activation was deemed to be the result of a nuisance fire alarm.
(1) 
This shall require the alarm user to return a completed report of service/repair to verify, to a reasonable satisfaction of the commanding officer, that:
(a) 
The fire alarm system has actually been examined by a qualified fire alarm technician; and
(b) 
A bona fide attempt has been made to identify and correct any defect of design, installation or operation of the fire alarm system which was identifiable as the cause of the nuisance fire alarm.
(2) 
Failure to return a report of service repair within said fifteen-day period, which is reasonably satisfactory to the commanding officer, shall result in assessment against the alarm user of a fee for the nuisance fire alarm. (See § 72-16, Penalties for offenses; enforcement).
B. 
The police are authorized to disconnect or disable any alarm system, including a vehicular alarm system that is emitting an audible alert which, in the discretion of the desk officer, is causing an unjustified noise disturbance or meets the criteria of a police false alarm. An audible alarm sounding for more than 15 minutes measured from the time of the sending of the alert signal may be deactivated by the first responder.

§ 72-9 Determination of fire false alarm; rebuttable presumption.

A false alarm violation shall be determined using a rebuttable presumption that the following determinations made by the authorized responder in the fire alarm activation report are correct:
A. 
There is no evidence of a fire or that there are no conditions present which create a substantial risk of fire warranting a response.
B. 
That the alarm was likely caused by mechanical failure, improper installation or other nuisance alarm and requires service or repair.
C. 
That the alarm was caused by the improper use or preventable misuse of a facility monitored by the alarm system.

§ 72-10 Determination of police false alarm; rebuttable presumption.

A police false alarm violation shall be determined with the benefit of a rebuttable presumption that the following determinations made by the police authorized responder are correct:
A. 
There is no evidence of a crime or other activity that would warrant a call for immediate police assistance at the premises.
B. 
No individual who was on or near the premises or who has viewed a video communication from the premises called for a police dispatch or verified a need for an immediate police response; and
C. 
There is no evidence that violent conditions of nature or other extraordinary circumstances beyond the control of the alarm user caused the activation of the alarm.

§ 72-11 Fire Department repository unit required.

A. 
The Mayor is authorized to implement a rapid-entry system designed to allow rapid entry by first responders to commercial and other nonresidential establishments located within the Village, said rapid-entry system as recommended by the emergency services of the Village.
B. 
The owner or person in control of the following types of buildings shall install and maintain a Fire Department repository unit of a type approved by the Chief:
(1) 
Any apartment building or other rental building containing four or more residential living units and in which access to the building or to common areas or mechanical or electrical rooms within the building is denied through locked doors.
(2) 
Any nonresidential building where a fire detection or suppression system is monitored by an alarm company or has an external audible alarm.
(3) 
Any building or facility containing a quantity of hazardous materials which would require compliance with Title III of SARA (Superfund Amendment Reauthorization Act).
C. 
Persons or entities who own existing buildings or structures which are subject to the requirements of this chapter shall have one year from the effective date of this chapter to comply with the requirements. Persons or entities who construct buildings or structures which would be subject to the requirements of this chapter shall comply with the requirements at the time of construction.
D. 
Sections 72-11, 72-12, and 72-13 shall become effective July 3, 2011. Compliance with §§ 72-11, 72-12, and 72-13 shall be required by July 1, 2012.

§ 72-12 Keys required.

A. 
The owner or person in control of buildings or facilities described in § 72-11 required to have a Fire Department repository unit shall cause to be placed in such repository unit a key to the following areas:
(1) 
Locked points of access in the exterior of the building or facility;
(2) 
Locked points of access to common areas, such as hallways or utility rooms, contained within such buildings or facilities;
(3) 
Locked mechanical rooms;
(4) 
Locked electrical rooms; and
(5) 
All other locked areas, other than individual apartments or rented rooms, as directed by the Chief.
B. 
The owner or person in control of any building or facility described in § 72-11 required to have a Fire Department repository unit shall do the following:
(1) 
Provide keys capable of access to such Fire Department repository unit at all times to the Fire Department.
(2) 
Maintain current information of hazardous materials stored in the building or facility in the Fire Department repository unit or, if the volume of material is too large to place in the repository unit, shall file said information with the Chief.

§ 72-13 Access to Fire Department repository unit.

The owner or person in control of any building or facility required to have a Fire Department repository unit shall be present, himself or through his agent, during access to such repository unit by the Fire Department except when the Fire Department has responded to an emergency at the property.

§ 72-14 Limitation of liability.

The Village assumes no liability for any of the following:
A. 
Any defects in the operation of the repository unit, of any of the keys contained within such repository unit or any information stored within the repository unit or otherwise provided to the Village;
B. 
The failure or neglect of any owner or person in control of a building or facility required to have a repository unit to provide access to the repository unit;
C. 
The security of any property required to have a repository unit due to access to the repository unit by any person.
D. 
No affirmative duty to respond to a call for assistance and no special relationship or specific duty is created between an alarm user and the Village or an emergency service thereof by the issuance of a permit or the payment of a fee for alarm monitoring.
E. 
In the event that an alarm system emitting an audible, visual or other similar response shall fail to be deactivated within the time limitation specified in § 72-8B hereinabove, the Village shall have the right to take such action as may be reasonably necessary in order to disconnect any such alarm without incurring any liability of a civil or criminal nature therefor.

§ 72-15 Permit fees.

The following permit fees shall apply:
A. 
Initial permit
(1) 
One year: $50.
(2) 
Three years: $125.
(3) 
Each additional detection type (subpermit): $50.
(4) 
Each additional detection type expiring less than one year: $25.
B. 
Renewal of permit.
(1) 
One year: $50.
(2) 
Three years: $125.
(3) 
Each additional detection type (subpermit) three years: $50.

§ 72-16 Penalties for offenses; enforcement.

A. 
A violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall constitute a violation as said term is defined by the Penal Law of the State of New York and be punishable as such by a fine not to exceed $2,000, imprisonment for a term not to exceed 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Each day's (twenty-four-hour period) continued violation of this chapter shall constitute a separate and distinct additional violation. A pernicious offender is subject to a minimum fine of $250 for any violation occurring during the relevant eighteen-month period, including any violation used to establish pernicious offender status.
B. 
A violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall also be subject to a civil penalty as set forth herein:
(1) 
Nuisance fire alarm, first offense: $0.
(2) 
Nuisance fire alarm, each additional offense: $50.
(3) 
First false alarm: $0.
(4) 
Second through fourth false alarm: $75.
(5) 
Fifth false alarm and each additional false alarm: $150.

§ 72-17 Severability.

If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, or phrase of this chapter is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by the decision of any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter.