[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough of Rutherford Council 12-6-1977 by Ord. No. 2217-77. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Mayor and Council does hereby define and declare that:
The occupants and numerous residential, commercial and industrial establishments in the Borough of Rutherford have found it desirable to make provision for the installation upon their premises, at their own cost and expense, of alarm systems for emergencies such as burglaries, fire and like alarms.
There is a growing number of alarm companies that sell or lease such alarm systems entering into contracts with such occupants for the installation, operation and maintenance of such alarm systems and providing for the connection of the individual alarm system so installed by them to a central location or to an alarm panel installed in the Police Department of the borough.
The number of private enterprises engaged in the alarm business, each with its own system and equipment, has resulted in conditions that, if not remedied, will lead to an unnecessary drain on the manpower, time, space, facilities and finances of the borough and its Police and Fire Departments, the deterioration of the quality of service to persons subscribing to the alarm systems and inequities in the alarm business in the borough.
The public interest therefore requires the enactment of rules, regulations, standards and procedures to regulate and control the alarm business of the Borough of Rutherford.
The purpose of this chapter is to provide standards and regulations for various types of burglar, fire and other emergency alarm devices, whether by direct line, telephone or other means, actuating devices at the Police Department of the borough and requiring a response thereto by the Police or Fire Department or other borough departments.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to any person, other than the municipality, who operates, maintains or owns any alarm device designed to summon the Police or Fire Department or other borough departments to any location in response to any type of alarm signal. The terms of this chapter shall in no way prohibit alarm companies from providing services by private source to other offices within or without the borough so long as such activity is not connected to any alarm panel, alarm register or special telephone connected with the Police or Fire Department or other municipal department which presently exists or will be installed at any of the said borough departments. Any persons having premises protected by a local alarm shall be responsible for the registration thereof in accordance with § 6-9 of this chapter.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM DEVICE
- Any type of alarm equipment which actuates the alarm panel or special telephone located in the borough's communications console for providing warning of intrusion, fire, smoke, flood or other peril.
- ALARM PANEL
- That component or components to be installed in the console in the Police Department and containing alarm indications and designations.
- ALARM SYSTEM
- The installation in one or more buildings of one or more alarm devices for the express purpose of giving visual or audible warning, or both, of an emergency such as burglary, intrusion, fire, smoke, flood or like perils.
- COMMUNICATIONS CONSOLE
- The console or control panel of devices giving visual or audio indications, or both, and general communications and located within the confines of the Police Department of the borough.
- DIAL ALARM
- That type of alarm device that employs an automatic dialing system precoded to connect with a special telephone in the borough's communications console rather than to the alarm panel.
- FALSE ALARMS
- The actuation of an alarm system by causes other than those to which the alarm system was designed or intended to respond, which summon the Police or Fire Department or other municipal department to investigate.
- The person obtaining the license to install, operate and maintain the alarm panel as hereinafter set forth.
- LOCAL ALARM
- Any alarm or device which, when actuated, produces an external visible or audible signal and which is not connected to the alarm panel in the borough's communications console, such as but not limited to independent burglar and/or fire alarms.
- Any person owning or leasing an alarm system and holding a permit to connect said device to a special telephone (dial alarm) or the alarm panel within the scope of this chapter.
- Includes any natural person, partnership, corporation or association or any other legal entity.
There is hereby established an alarm panel license, which shall be granted to a licensee upon approval of the Borough Council as set forth in § 6-6 of this chapter.
Any such licensee shall have exclusive use and control of the alarm panel, which shall be installed in the communications console in the Police Department of the borough in accordance with the specifications referred to in this chapter; excepting, however, the borough's Police and Fire Departments' use of said alarm panel. Such licensee shall be responsible, at no cost to the borough, for the furnishing, installing, operating and maintaining of said panel, containing equipment and being of a design approved by the Borough Council. Said licensee shall locate said panel and relocate said panel, if necessary, under the supervision of the borough's Chief of Police, at no cost to the Borough of Rutherford.
Upon adoption of this chapter, the Purchasing Agent, after consulting with the Chief of Police and Fire Department, shall issue written specifications covering the alarm panel hereinbefore referred to and submit the same to the Borough Council for approval, and, after advertising and bidding, in accordance with the Local Public Contracts Law, the alarm panel license shall be issued by the Borough Clerk to the licensee in accordance with said specifications and upon resolution adopted by the Mayor and Council.
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 et seq.
Every person desiring to connect an alarm system to the alarm panel in the Police Department shall make application to the Police Chief for a permit to do so. The application shall be in such form as the Police Chief shall prescribe and shall set forth all information required by the Police Chief to enable him to decide whether or not the applicant's alarm system can effectively be connected to the alarm panel. As part of said application, the permittee shall provide an agreement to release the Borough of Rutherford and its officers, agents and employees from any and all liability or damages which may flow or result from any and all actions of the said Borough of Rutherford and its agents, servants or employees and, further, to indemnify and save harmless the Borough of Rutherford and its officers, agents and employees for or on account of any acts or omissions directly or indirectly related to the installation, operation or maintenance of the alarm panel and the connection of the applicant's alarm system thereto.
All alarm devices in operation and connected to the present alarm panels in the Police Department as of the date of the adoption of this chapter shall obtain a permit and be connected hereunder to the proposed alarm panel by the licensee, and no additional connection charge for such transfer shall be permitted.
Upon compliance by the applicant with all of the provisions of this chapter, the Police Chief shall issue to the applicant a permit for the connection applied for.
The permittee shall pay to the Borough Clerk an annual fee for the privilege of being connected to the alarm panel in the sum of $50, which fee shall be payable by January 30 of each year annually so long as the permit is in force. Any permit issued between January 1 and December 31 shall require the same fee of $50, no portion of which shall be prorated or refundable. Should any such fee be delinquent for 30 days, the Police Chief or his designated representative shall notify the permittee, in writing, that such system has been disconnected from the alarm panel.
The permittee shall pay the licensee a connection fee not in excess of $50 for connection to the alarm panel and agree to pay the licensee a monthly service charge not in excess of the amount authorized in the licensee's license with the Borough of Rutherford.
If any permittee shall fail, neglect or refuse to comply with the permittee's obligation to pay the monthly charge to the licensee and/or the borough and shall remain in such default for 30 days, the Police Chief is authorized, on five days, notice to such permittee, to order the licensee to disconnect the permittee's alarm system from the panel. In such event, the alarm system shall not be reconnected except upon payment of all arrearages, as well as a new connection fee.
Every permittee shall, by acceptance of the permit, be deemed as having consented to the inspection of the alarm device, upon request and at reasonable hours, by the Police Chief and/or Fire Prevention Chief or their designated representatives.
Any unauthorized equipment may be disconnected, by order of the Police Chief or his designated representative, from the communications console for noncompliance with this chapter, and any person installing or maintaining unauthorized equipment shall be prosecuted for violation of this chapter; and each and every day the equipment is in operation shall be considered a separate violation.
Any licensee for the alarm panel and any permittee utilizing the services of said alarm panel shall provide for a representative to be on call at all times, and service shall be provided within eight hours of notification by the Police Department of any malfunction of any equipment.
In the case of false alarms, excepting false fire alarms, which summon the police to investigate, the Police Chief shall cause an investigation to be made and keep a record of said false alarms on file. With such false alarms, the following penalties shall be imposed: for the first and second false alarms in any calendar year, a warning shall be issued; for the third false alarm in the same calendar year, a penalty of $25 shall be paid to the Borough of Rutherford.
[Amended 10-5-1993 by Ord. No. 2685-93; 5-7-1996 by Ord. No. 2759-96.]
In the case of false alarms, excepting false fire alarms, which summon the police to investigate, the Police Chief shall cause an investigation to be made and keep a record of said false alarms on file. For such false alarms, the following penalties shall be imposed: for the fourth and each subsequent false alarm, a penalty of $40 shall be paid to the Borough of Rutherford.
[Added 5-7-1996 by Ord. No. 2759-96]
All components of alarm systems shall be maintained by the owner in good repair. When evidence exists that there has been a failure to comply with the operational requirements of this chapter, the Police Chief is then authorized to demand that such devices be disconnected from the alarm panel until such time as compliance with such requirements is reestablished.
Where the investigation of the Police and/or Fire Department discloses continued abuse of the privileges of being connected to the alarm panel, a disregard of the permittee in taking remedial steps to avoid false alarms or the failure to pay the required fees under this chapter, the Borough of Rutherford reserves the right to require disconnection from the alarm panel for a limited or permanent time, provided that no such permit shall be revoked or suspended without giving the permittee an opportunity to show cause before the Borough Council why such action should not be taken.
[Added 10-5-1993 by Ord. No. 2685-93]
No dial alarm shall be permitted unless it shall first have been registered with the Police Chief as hereinafter required and approved by the Police Chief following approval thereof by the New Jersey Bell Telephone Company and the performance of a test alarm conducted by or on behalf of the applicant.
All dial alarms shall be coded to dial a special number which shall be provided by the Police Chief. No dial alarm shall be coded to dial any other number of the Rutherford Police Department or other departments of the borough.
Any dial alarm may be coded as well to notify a relative, neighbor or other third party who shall be named in the registration required by this chapter.
All dial alarms shall be capable of being disconnected by the owner to permit a call to the Police Department in the event that a false alarm occurs.
The permittee of each dial alarm system shall pay to the Borough of Rutherford an annual fee of $12 to cover the cost of registration and testing and to amortize the cost of the special telephone line or lines required in the Police Department and the ancillary tape devices necessitated by these systems. If any permittee shall fail, neglect or refuse to pay the annual fee by January 30 of each year and shall remain in default for 30 days thereafter, the Police Chief or his designated representative is authorized, on five days' notice to such permittee, to have the permittee's dial alarm system disconnected.
If any dial alarm shall hereafter be found to be dialing any number other than the special telephone number reserved for dial alarms, the permittee of said dial alarm system shall be sent a notice in writing by the Police Chief requiring compliance with the terms of this chapter. If said permittee, occupant of the premises of said system or listed telephone subscriber to said system shall fail within 30 days after receipt of said notice to comply, he or they shall be liable to a penalty payable to the Borough of Rutherford in the amount of $50.
The contents of any recorded message from a dial alarm must be intelligible and in a format approved by the Police Chief. No such message shall be transmitted more than three times as a result of a single stimulus of the mechanism. Said message shall not exceed 15 seconds, and the time gap between delivery shall be approximately 10 seconds.
All components of dial alarms shall be maintained by the permittee in good repair. When evidence exists that there has been a failure to comply with the operational requirements of this chapter, the Police Chief is then authorized to demand that such device be disconnected until such time as compliance with such requirements is reestablished.
No person shall install, operate or maintain any alarm system, except the borough, unless the alarm system has been registered with the Police Chief as follows:
Alarm panel systems. Any alarm system connected to the alarm panel shall be deemed registered at such time as the permit therefor is issued.
Dial alarms. A dial alarm system shall be deemed registered when the annual dial alarm fee is remitted to the borough and the system has been approved by the Police Chief.
Local alarms. A local alarm shall be deemed registered when the occupant of the building in which it is installed shall have filed with the Police Chief a registration form which shall include, among other data, the location of the device, the name of the installer of said device, the type of device, provisions relating to false alarms and testing procedures, a list of persons to be contacted in the event of an alarm and other pertinent information as may be required by the Police Chief.
Local alarms shall be registered, but no fees shall be charged therefor.
Registrants of local alarms shall be governed by the false alarm procedure and penalties set forth in § 6-7J of this chapter.
All local alarms installed after adoption of this chapter shall be equipped with a time relay device which limits the sounding of alarms to 30 minutes or less.
Registrants of local alarms, upon registration, shall be deemed as having consented to inspection of the alarm device upon request and at reasonable hours by the Police Chief, the Fire Prevention Chief or their designated representatives.
[Amended 10-5-1993 by Ord. No. 2685-93]
Every person, firm or corporation who violates or fails to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter of the Code for which no other specific penalty is provided shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine in an amount not exceeding $100 for each violation or imprisonment in the county jail for a period not exceeding 10 days, in the discretion of the court.
[Added 3-15-1983 by Ord. No. 2338-83]
All houses of worship shall be exempt from paying any fees payable to the borough called for under the provisions of this chapter of the Code.