[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Mansfield as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Special Public Safety Services
[Adopted 3-27-1995, effective 4-22-1995; amended in its entirety 6-22-2009, effective 7-22-2009]
This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Town of Mansfield Fees for Special Public Safety Services Ordinance." This article is authorized by C.G.S. § 7-148(b)(2) and (c)(7)(E), (H)(viii) and (xiii), (10), C.G.S. § 7-152c, C.G.S. § 47a-7(b), and by § C103 of the Mansfield Town Charter.
It is the purpose of this article to recover the Town's costs for fire or emergency medical services or local or state police services resulting from continued or subsequent responses to the scene of an event by public safety services personnel when a ranking responding officer determines, based on the totality of the circumstances, that continued activity at any such event constitutes a “disturbance” as defined herein, “nuisance” as defined in C.G.S. § 47a-32, “serious nuisance” as defined in C.G.S. § 47a-15, or a threat to the health, safety or general welfare of the public, including any situation in which any such officer or officers are present at a location where such activity is ongoing, determines that the departure or absence of police, fire service or emergency medical services from the site is a risk to health or safety or constitutes or will result in a disturbance, nuisance, or serious nuisance, and warns the event organizer or property owner or his/her agent that the event must be controlled or ended and the participants dispersed within a reasonable time.
Having to remain at any such event to protect health and safety or the general public welfare, or making a return visit to an event to disperse participants or to try to control other event-related activity after any responsible person has been reasonably warned to control, end or disperse participants in the event is an unnecessary drain on public safety personnel and resources, often leaving other areas of the Town without adequate levels of police, fire or emergency medical services protection. The costs resulting from any such continued or subsequent response by public safety personnel to an event at which there is a nuisance, serious nuisance or disturbance as defined herein taking place should be paid by the responsible person(s) rather than by the taxpayers of the Town of Mansfield. Enforcement of this article shall neither require nor preclude the enforcement of any criminal law or any other civil law.
For the purpose of this article, the following definitions shall apply:
- COSTS OF SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT RESPONSES
- Police, fire or emergency services personnel having to stay at an event or return to said event to try to discontinue, prevent or contain a disturbance, nuisance or serious nuisance, ensure the health or safety of participants or bystanders, or to protect the general public welfare, after reasonable written warning to end, disperse or otherwise control the event has been given by a police officer without a reasonably effective response shall be considered a continued or subsequent response for the purposes of this article. Costs of continued or subsequent responses include the reasonable costs for public safety personnel, vehicles and other associated expenses incurred by the Town of Mansfield for the time actually spent in necessarily returning to or remaining at any such event, plus the actual cost of any medical treatment to injured Town or state employees, or emergency service personnel and the cost of repairing or replacing any damaged Town equipment or property as the result of such special public safety services.
- Activity at an event which reasonably appears to a responding officer of the Town of Mansfield to constitute a nuisance or serious nuisance, is a danger or threat to health, safety, or the general welfare, or unreasonably causes significant annoyance or discomfort to persons not involved in the event.
- Includes a gathering where a group of persons has assembled or is assembling for a social occasion, party, or social activity whose primary purpose and function is not religious, educational, or political in nature.
- As defined in C.G.S. § 47a-32, "nuisance" shall be taken to include, but shall not be limited to, any conduct which interferes substantially with the comfort or safety of other tenants or occupants of the same or adjacent buildings or structures.
- RESPONSIBLE PERSON
- The person or persons who own the property where the event takes place or any apparent organizer of the event. If the responsible person is a minor, then the minor's parents will also be responsible parties. Any liability under this article shall be joint and several.
- SERIOUS NUISANCE
- As defined in C.G.S. § 47a-15, "serious nuisance" means, but shall not be limited to, substantial and willful destruction of part of the dwelling unit or premises, or conduct which presents an immediate and serious danger to the safety of other tenants or the landlord.
During a first response to an event, if the ranking responding police officer determines, in the police officer's sole discretion, that, based on the totality of the circumstances, the event presents a threat to health, safety or the general public welfare, or constitutes an ongoing disturbance, nuisance or serious nuisance, the ranking responding officer may, among other things, deliver to any person whom the officer reasonably determines to be a responsible person or to his or her agent a "Notice of Violation and Written Warning: First Response" which shall contain a message substantially as follows:
"This Notice of Violation and Written Warning is given to you as a result of a first response by the Town of Mansfield to a dangerous situation, disturbance, nuisance or serious nuisance during an event organized by you or on your property. Pursuant to Chapter 70, Article I, of the Code of the Town of Mansfield, you may be charged to pay for all personnel and equipment and other costs incurred as a result of any continued or subsequent response by public safety personnel to this location, if you are warned to end, disperse or otherwise reasonably control the event within a reasonable time and fail to reasonably comply."
The notice may also contain such other information deemed necessary by the ranking police officer at the scene of an event at which the officer determines that public safety personnel may remain or return to address a disturbance, nuisance or serious nuisance, or to protect any person from injury; for example, an order to the responsible person to end, disperse or otherwise control the event, in order to accomplish the purposes of this article.
If a continued or subsequent response has occurred and the ranking officer has reasonably determined that said response is the result of a disturbance that has happened or continued after notice and written warning have been given, or if a property owner or event organizer or his or her agent has been warned to end, disperse or otherwise control an event and it is later determined by the Town Manager, based on the totality of the circumstances, including but not limited to past experience with the same property and owner or event organizer, any security plan that has been created and/or implemented by said responsible person(s), the degree of difficulty facing said person(s) to end, disperse or control said event, the extent of fault that may be reasonably attributed to him, her or them for any failure to end, disperse or control the event, and the propriety of the determination made by the officer to refer the matter to the Town Manager for determination that any such person has in fact failed to reasonably end, disperse or control the event, then a citation and bill for the costs incurred by the Town for its continued or subsequent response reasonably resulting from any such failure by such owner or organizer shall be prepared by the Town Manager or his agent or delegate or police officer and delivered to the responsible person by a Town of Mansfield or state police officer designated by the municipality.
The Director of Finance is authorized to enforce any such citation and collect such bill and reasonable costs of collection, including attorney’s fees, by resort to the provisions of the Hearing Procedure for Citations Ordinance, set forth in §§ 129-1 through 129-10, inclusive, of the Town of Mansfield Code of Ordinances.
Any person fined or assessed penalties, costs or fees pursuant to this article may appeal any such fine or assessment pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 129, Hearing Procedure for Citations.
Should any court of competent jurisdiction declare any section or clause or provision of this article to be unconstitutional, such decision shall affect only such section, clause or provision so declared unconstitutional and shall not affect any other section, clause or provision of this article.