[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of East Hempfield by Ord. No. 9-18-1991. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following words, terms and phrases shall have the following meanings, unless it is apparent from the context that a different meaning is intended:
- ALARM AGENT
- Any person who is self-employed in or employed by an alarm business, either directly or indirectly, whose duties include any of the following: selling, maintaining, leasing, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving or installing on or in any building, structure or facility any automatic protection device. Exemption: This definition does not include a person who engages in the manufacture or sale of an automatic protection device from a fixed location and who neither visits the location where the automatic protection device is to be installed nor designs the scheme for physical location and installation of the automatic protection device at or in a specific location.
- ALARM BUSINESS
- Any business operated by any individual, including a person self-employed, partnership, corporation or other entity of selling, leasing, maintaining, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving or installing any automatic protection device or causing to be sold, leased, maintained, serviced, repaired, altered, replaced, moved or installed any automatic protection device in or on any building, structure or facility, or employing alarm agent(s). Exemption: this definition does not include a person who engages in the manufacture or sale of an automatic protection device from a fixed location and who neither visits the location where the automatic protection device is to be installed nor designs the scheme for physical location and installation of the automatic protection device at or in a specific location.
- Any person, firm or corporation who or which files an application for a new or renewal permit as provided in this chapter.
- AUTOMATIC PROTECTION DEVICE
- Any alarm system or mechanical or electrically operated instrument composed of sensory apparatus and related hardware which is designed or used for:
- A. The detection of an unauthorized entry into a building, structure or facility or for alerting others of the commission of an unlawful act within a building, structure or facility, or both.
- B. The detection of a hazardous condition resulting from fire, heat, smoke or explosion within a building, structure or facility and which emits a sound or transmits a signal or message when activated. Automatic protection devices include, but are not limited to, audible alarms, automatic dialing devices, alarms connected directly to communications centers and proprietor alarms. Automatic protection devices may be referred to in this chapter as APDs. Exemption: the following devices shall not be included under the definition of APDs:
- (1) Devices which are not designed or used to register alarms that are audible, visible or perceptible outside of the protected building, structure or facility, such as those systems designed for the detection of equipment malfunctions.
- (2) Devices which are designed for and installed upon motorized vehicles or trailers.
- (3) Devices maintained and operated by the East Hempfield Township Police Department used for the detection of unlawful acts and known as "portable stake-out alarm systems."
- CALENDAR YEAR
- Period between January 1 and December 31.
- COMMUNICATIONS CENTER
- The communications room in the Police Department or that of the Lancaster County Fire and Police Radio Network and other rooms which house auxiliary communications equipment.
- EMERGENCY SITUATION
- A sudden or unforeseen situation involving potential danger to one or more people or structures and which reasonably requires the attention of a police officer or fireman.
- FALSE ALARMS
- An activation of an APD signal necessitating response by the East Hempfield Township Police Department or Fire Department where an emergency situation does not exist. The term does not include alarms caused by hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes or other violent acts or acts of nature.
- FIRE CHIEF
- One or several fire chiefs of the Fire Department of Rohrerstown, Hempfield or East Petersburg, respectively.
- FIRE DEPARTMENT
- One or several of the Fire Departments of Rohrerstown, Hempfield and East Petersburg.
- A written notice, given by personal service upon the addressee or given by United States Mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the person to be notified at his last known address, return receipt requested. Service of such notice shall be effective upon the completion of personal service or upon delivery by the United States Postal Service.
- Written permission, duly granted to the applicant by the Chief of Police upon the payment of the required fee.
- Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization who or which shall be granted a permit as provided herein and his or its agents and representatives.
- Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
- POLICE CHIEF
- The Chief of Police of the East Hempfield Township Police Department or his designated representatives.
- POLICE or POLICE DEPARTMENT
- The Police Department of the Township of East Hempfield.
- PROPRIETARY ALARM
- Any APD which sounds within the protected premises or control center under the supervision of the proprietor of the protected building, structure or facility. If police or fire response is expected or is a result of that proprietary alarm signal or message, it thereby becomes an APD as defined by this chapter.
- RESPONSE ASSESSMENT FEE
- A fee charged a permittee for each and every false alarm activation in excess of two in any calendar year to which the Police or Fire Department respond.
- RESPONSE ASSESSMENT FEE NOTICE
- A written notice advising of a response assessment fee.
- A person who has an APD installed on real estate in which the person has an interest or who has applied for the installation of an APD or who is the user of an APD.
Business permit required. It is unlawful for any person to engage in, conduct or carry on an alarm business at any time within the limits of the Township of East Hempfield without first applying for, receiving and maintaining an alarm business permit in accordance with the provision of this chapter.
Agent identification required. It is unlawful for any person to engage in or conduct business or operate as an alarm agent at any time within the limits of the Township of East Hempfield unless connected with and carrying identification from a business issued a business permit in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Agent identification must be carried at all times while engaging in alarm business activities and must be displayed to any police officer or Fire Chief within his respective jurisdiction upon request.
Alarm subscriber permit required. It is unlawful for any person to use an APD at any time within the limits of the Township of East Hempfield without first applying for, receiving and maintaining an alarm subscriber permit in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and to have that permit on the premises where the system is located and to produce such permit to any police officer or Fire Chief within his respective jurisdiction upon request.
Testing prohibited without permission. It is unlawful for any person to conduct any test or demonstration of any APD designed to make a direct connection to the Police and Fire Communications Center at any time within the limits of East Hempfield Township without first obtaining permission from the Police or Fire Department. Such permission is not required where the equipment to be tested or demonstrated is connected to an intermediary, and the receipt of the alarm or signal is not relayed to the Police or Fire Department by any means.
Automatic dialing device. It is unlawful for any person to authorize or interconnect an automatic dialing device to a communications center telephone line not designated for such connections or to connect an automatic dialing device to any East Hempfield Township telephone line.
Altering permit. It is unlawful for any person to modify, alter or change a permit or have in his or her possession a permit which has been modified, altered or changed, except for personnel of the Police Department in implementing or enforcing the provisions of this chapter.
To obtain a permit individuals or persons must complete a written application which shall contain such information as is reasonably required by the East Hempfield Township Police Department. Applications for renewal of permits will be processed in the same manner as initial applications.
Applicants shall agree as a condition for receiving and keeping permits to notify the Police Department, in writing, within 10 days of any changes in the application currently on file, i.e., ownership, management or persons, to be notified in the event of an alarm activation.
Applicants for business permits shall agree in writing and as condition for receiving and keeping permits to do the following:
To notify the Police Department within 10 days of any substantial change affecting the status or validity of their permit.
To issue to all alarm agents connected with or in the employ of the business identification cards containing as a minimum:
To supply the Police Department and the appropriate fire department with a complete list of the names and addresses of all persons within the Township of East Hempfield to whom or for whom APD systems have been sold or installed or who are currently under contract for service to such a system.
Following the completion of the application and payment of the appropriate fee as indicated in § 100-4 below, the Police Department shall have 15 working days to investigate the applicant, process the application and to grant or deny a permit.
Permits to any applicant shall be denied if:
The applicant does not agree to comply or fails to comply with the requirements of this chapter and rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter.
The applicant has knowingly made any false, misleading or fraudulent statement in the application or in any report or record required to be filed with the Township.
The applicant fails to pay all due or past due response assessment fees, fines, costs or other charges owed which were related to any previously issued permit(s).
When an application for a permit is denied, the applicant shall be notified in writing of the denial, with the basis thereof. If the reason(s) for denial are correctable, the applicant will be so advised with suggestions on how these corrections can be made and what time limit has been set for making said corrections. The notice of denial shall inform the applicant that appeals may be made in the manner outlined in § 100-5 of this chapter.
When an application for any permit is approved, the Chief of Police or his designated representatives are authorized to sign and issue the appropriate permit.
Alarm business permit. An annual fee, as established from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors, is due and payable by January 1 of each year. No proration is permitted of the initial fee, even though applied for and approved after January 1. All existing business permits which are valid as of the effective date of this chapter shall remain valid through December 31, 1991.
Alarm subscriber permit. A fee, as established from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors, for a maximum three-year period to expire December 31 of a calendar year. No proration of the permit for the first year is permitted. All existing alarm subscriber permits which are valid as of the effective date of this chapter shall remain valid through December 31 of the assigned year of such permit expiration.
Response assessment fees. A response assessment fee shall be due and payable within 10 days following receipt of the written notice of a false alarm, unless extended for cause by the Chief of Police.
Waiver. Payment of a response assessment fee may be waived by the Chief of Police upon written notification by the permittee and verification by the Chief of Police that such false alarm was caused by an act of nature or, as to an APD which has been installed or modified within 30 days prior to the false alarm, where the Chief of Police concludes that the false alarm resulted from good faith user familiarization process or the process of adjustment of mechanical malfunctions.
Exemption from fees.
The United States government, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the County of Lancaster, municipal corporations, departments thereof and other governmental entities are exempt from fees required in this chapter.
A residential APD subscriber who is over the age of 65 and is the primary resident of the residence, if no business is conducted in the residence, may obtain a subscriber's permit from the Police Department according to this chapter without a payment of a fee. Such a permittee is not exempted from response assessment fees.
Any person aggrieved by denial of an application for a permit or renewal of a permit shall have the right to appeal.
An appeal must be filed within 10 days after receipt of a notice from the Chief of Police by filing with the Township a letter of appeal briefly stating therein the basis for the appeal, together with a filing and processing fee in an amount as established from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.
Failure to file a letter of appeal within said 10 days shall constitute a waiver of applicant's right to a hearing; however, the Supervisors may nevertheless grant such a hearing, in their sole discretion, upon applicant showing good cause for the delay.
A hearing before the Township Supervisors shall be scheduled for a date no greater than 30 days after receipt of the letter of appeal. At least five days' advance notice of the time and date of the hearing shall be sent to the applicant.
At the hearing, the Supervisors, the appellant and any other interested party shall be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard in order to show cause why the determination of the Chief of Police should not be upheld. In all cases, the burden of proof shall be upon the appellant to show that there was no substantial evidence to support the decision of the Chief of Police.
The hearing may be recorded by tape or other mechanical means. A brief summary of the evidence considered, findings of fact and final decision reached by the Supervisors shall be prepared. The decision of the Supervisors shall be binding on all parties.
Enforcement and administration of this chapter shall be the responsibility of the Police Department through the authority of the Chief of Police or his designated representatives.
The Police Chief may promulgate such rules as are necessary for administration and enforcement of this chapter. Any such rules promulgated shall be approved by the Township Supervisors and shall be available for public inspection.
Where an APD which is directly connected to a communications center is activated and continues to transmit a signal, either through malfunction or defect in the system, the Police and Fire Departments are authorized to disconnect the APD until such time as repairs are made.
In addition to any criteria set forth in the rules of the Police Chief promulgated under the terms of this chapter, all APDs installed or modified on or after the effective date of this chapter shall have a backup power source sufficient to prevent the issuance of a false alarm resulting from a power outage lasting 180 seconds or less.
Where the Police or Fire Department disconnects an APD, no liability shall incur to the Township or its employees through such action.
The information furnished and secured pursuant to the chapter shall be confidential in character and shall not, to the extent permitted by law, be subject to public inspection and shall be kept so that the contents thereof shall not be known, except to persons charged with the administration of this chapter.
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this chapter, upon conviction thereof in an action brought before a Magisterial District Judge in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 90 days. Each day that a violation of this chapter continues or each section of this chapter which shall be found to have been violated shall constitute a separate offense.
The payment of any fees required shall not prohibit implementation of the above penalties.