City of Yonkers, NY
Westchester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Yonkers 12-27-1991 by G.O. No. 19-1991. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to establish standards for emergency reporting equipment, systems and procedures and thereby maintain proper and reliable alarm systems and limit unnecessary emergency responses to false alarms by the City of Yonkers Police and Fire Departments.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:
ALARM AGENT
Any individual who is employed by a business licensee and whose duties include operating, selling, maintaining, leasing, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving or installing, in or on any building, place or premises, any police or fire alarm system.
ALARM NOTIFICATION
A notification intended to summon the Police or Fire Department, which is designed to be initiated purposely by a person or by an alarm system that responds to a stimulus characteristic of smoke, fire, a criminal act or other emergency.
ALARM REVIEW BOARD
A Board consisting of the Police Commissioner, the Fire Commissioner and the Corporation Counsel, or their designees.
ALARM SITE
Any police or fire alarm system, or combination thereof, installed on or within a single building, place or premises at a specific location.
ALARM SYSTEM
A device which emits, transmits or relays a signal intended to summon or that would reasonably be expected to summon police or fire services. An "alarm system" does not include a device installed in a vehicle, unless the vehicle is permanently located at an alarm site.
ANSWERING SERVICE
A telephone answering service that includes the service whereby trained employees receive prerecorded voice messages from automatic protection devices reporting an emergency at a stated location and then relay immediately by live voice any such emergency over a special trunkline to the communications center of the Police or Fire Department.
BUSINESS LICENSEE
Any person in the business of owning, operating, selling, maintaining, leasing, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving or installing police or fire alarm systems or providing answering service within the City of Yonkers and authorized to engage in such business under the provisions of this chapter.
CENTRAL ALARM STATION
Any facility operated by a private firm that owns or leases a system of police or fire alarm devices, which facility is manned by operators who receive, record or validate alarm signals and relay information about such validated signals to the communications center of the Police or Fire Department, when appropriate.
DIRECT ALARM
Any alarm system connected by telephone wires to the communications center of the Police or Fire Department.
FALSE ALARM NOTIFICATION
An alarm notification when the responding Police or Fire Department personnel find no evidence of smoke, fire, criminal activity, attempted criminal activity or an emergency. A "false alarm notification" will not include alarms resulting from or during electrical storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards and other acts of God; electrical power disruption or failure; and disruptions of the telephone circuits beyond the control of the alarm agent, licensee or permit holder.
FIRE COMMISSIONER
The Commissioner of the City of Yonkers Fire Department.
FIRE DEPARTMENT
The City of Yonkers Fire Department.
LICENSING AUTHORITY
The City Clerk of the City of Yonkers or his/her designee.
PANIC ALARM
The activation of an alarm system in such a manner that indicates a situation of immediate and emergent nature, such as a medical emergency or a crime in progress.
PERMIT HOLDER
The person designated in the permit application as required by this chapter who is responsible for responding to alarms and giving access to the alarm installation site and who is responsible for proper maintenance and operation of the alarm system and payment of fees.
PERSON
Any individual, corporation, firm, partnership, association, organization or similar entity.
POLICE COMMISSIONER
The Commissioner of the City of Yonkers Police Department.
POLICE DEPARTMENT
The City of Yonkers Police Department.
SPECIAL TRUNKLINE
A telephone line leading into the communications center of the Police or Fire Department that is for the primary purpose of receiving emergency messages that originate from automatic protection devices and are transmitted directly or through an alarm monitoring company.
A. 
No person shall own, operate, sell, maintain, install, lease, service, repair, alter, replace, move or install any police or fire alarm systems as a business or provide answering service as a business within the City of Yonkers without a license issued pursuant to this chapter.
B. 
No alarm agent shall operate, sell, maintain, lease, service, repair, alter, replace, move or install any police or fire alarm systems or provide answering service within the City of Yonkers without a license issued pursuant to this chapter.
A. 
A person in the business of owning, operating, selling, maintaining, leasing, servicing, replacing, repairing, altering, moving or installing police or fire alarm systems or in the business of providing answering service within the City of Yonkers shall apply to the licensing authority for a business license pursuant to the procedure and application established by the licensing authority and this chapter.
B. 
A person desiring to act as an alarm agent within the City of Yonkers must apply to the licensing authority for an alarm agent license pursuant to the procedure and application established by the licensing authority.
C. 
The business license application and the alarm agent license application shall contain information regarding the applicant, the alarm systems involved in the business, the services provided by the business, the procedures used by the business and all other information found necessary and required by the licensing authority.
D. 
The license holder is required to inform the licensing authority of any change in the information listed in the license application within two business days.
A. 
Each license issued by the licensing authority shall be issued for a one-year period.
B. 
License fees shall be paid to the City of Yonkers with the submission of the application to the licensing authority, as follows:
(1) 
Annual business license: $125 per year.
(2) 
Annual alarm agent license: $50 per year.
A. 
No person who owns or leases real property or any premises in the City of Yonkers shall operate or cause to be operated an alarm system without a permit issued pursuant to this chapter for each alarm system.
B. 
A violation of this section shall be forgiven if the violating party applies for an alarm system permit within five business days of notice of the violation.
A. 
A person who owns or leases real property or any premises in the City of Yonkers and operates or causes to be operated an alarm system shall apply to the licensing authority for an alarm system permit pursuant to the procedures and application established by the licensing authority and this chapter.
B. 
The application for an alarm system permit shall include the following information:
(1) 
The name, address and telephone number of the permit holder and of the person responsible for maintenance and operation of the alarm system.
(2) 
A classification of the alarm site as being either residential, commercial or apartment.
(3) 
The address of the alarm site and, if classified as commercial, the name of the commercial entity.
(4) 
The location of each alarm system located at the alarm site.
(5) 
The purpose for each alarm located at the alarm site, i.e., burglary, robbery, fire, etc.
(6) 
Any other information required by the Police Department, the Fire Department or the licensing authority.
C. 
The permit holder is required to inform the licensing authority of any change in the information listed on the permit application within two business days.
A. 
Each alarm system permit issued by the licensing authority shall be issued for a one-year period.
B. 
Permit fees shall be paid to the City of Yonkers with the submission of the application to the licensing authority, as follows:
(1) 
Annual residential or apartment alarm system permit: no fee but permit required.
(2) 
Annual commercial alarm system permit: $50 per year.
A. 
A license or permit issued by the licensing authority under this chapter may be suspended or revoked by the licensing authority for the violation of any of the provisions of this chapter or any regulations or conditions established by the Police Commissioner, the Fire Commissioner or the licensing authority. No part of a license or permit fee shall be refunded when a license or permit is suspended or revoked.
B. 
No license or permit may be transferred to another person.
A license and permit must be renewed every year by submitting an updated application and the required fee to the licensing authority. It is the responsibility of the license holder or the permit holder to submit for renewal prior to the expiration date.
A. 
A permit holder or person in control of an alarm system shall:
(1) 
Maintain the alarm system and the alarm site in a manner that will minimize or eliminate false alarm notifications.
(2) 
Respond or cause his representative to respond at an alarm site, within a reasonable period of time after notification from the City of Yonkers to deactivate an alarm system, to provide access or to provide security.
(3) 
Maintain at each alarm site a complete set of written operations and instructions for each alarm system at the site. Such instructions shall not include special codes, combinations or passwords.
B. 
An alarm system shall be programmed or adjusted to sound for no longer than 15 minutes after being activated.
C. 
An alarm system shall be programmed or adjusted so that, upon activation of the alarm system, the system will not transmit or remit another alarm without first being manually reset.
D. 
No permit holder or person shall conduct any test or demonstration of any police or fire alarm system without obtaining the permission of the Commissioner appropriate to the alarm system.
E. 
An alarm user permit decal issued to the permit holder shall be visibly displayed on the front or main door of the protected premises.
F. 
It shall be a violation of this chapter to intentionally cause a false alarm notification.
A. 
A person who is engaged in the business of relaying alarm notifications to the communications center of the Police and Fire Departments shall:
(1) 
Report alarms over special trunklines or other communication equipment designated by the Police or Fire Commissioner.
(2) 
Report alarm notification to the City in the manner and form determined by the Police or Fire Commissioner.
B. 
A person in control of an alarm site, other than a financial institution, whose alarm system transmits an automatic alarm notification directly to the communications center of the Police or Fire Department shall:
(1) 
Transmit the alarm in a manner and form determined by the Police or Fire Commissioner.
(2) 
Ensure that any recorded message is intelligible.
(3) 
If applicable, report alarms over special trunklines or other communication equipment designated by the Police or Fire Commissioner.
[Amended 6-26-2012 by G.O. No. 14-2012; 10-28-2014 by G.O. No. 12-2014]
A. 
An alarm system permit holder or, if none exists, the property owner or resident of an alarm site shall be subject to warnings, charges, suspension or revocation of the permit, depending on the number of false alarm notifications emitted from an alarm system within a calendar year, as follows:
(1) 
The first two false alarm notifications in a calendar year shall result in a written warning with no charge.
(2) 
All subsequent false alarm notifications shall be enforced as described in § 78-18 of this chapter.
(3) 
All false alarm notifications over four in a calendar year may result in the suspension or revocation of the permit by the licensing authority or may result in any other action determined by the Police or Fire Commissioner as necessary to abate the false notifications.
B. 
Any person who operates a newly installed alarm system will not be subjected to charges, suspension or revocation for the first 30 days of the system, provided that the person applies and is issued a permit by the licensing authority.
A. 
A suspension of a permit or license shall remain in effect until:
(1) 
The permit or license holder acknowledges the suspension, in writing, as directed by the licensing authority;
(2) 
The permit or license holder has taken all the action required by the licensing authority in the suspension notice; and
(3) 
The licensing authority has issued a removal of suspension order.
B. 
The licensing authority shall revoke a permit or license if it is determined that:
(1) 
There is a false statement of a material matter in the application for permit or license;
(2) 
The permit or license holder violated a section of this chapter; or
(3) 
The permit or license holder fails to make timely payment of a fee or charge.
C. 
A person commits an offense and is subject to the penalty section of this chapter if he operates while suspended or revoked.
D. 
A permit or license which has been revoked may be reinstated and a new permit of license shall be issued as follows:
(1) 
If the person submits an updated application with the appropriate fee; and
(2) 
If the person pays or otherwise resolves all fees, charges, citations pending in court issued pursuant to this chapter or orders issued by the licensing authority.
A. 
The denial of an application for a permit or license, a suspension or a revocation of a license or permit must be made in writing by the licensing authority by certified mail, return receipt requested, and sent to the applicant or permit holder and the applicable alarm company.
B. 
The notified party may appeal any decision of the licensing authority to the Alarm Review Board by filing a written request for review with the licensing authority, setting forth the reasons for the appeal, within 10 days after receipt of the notice from the licensing authority.
C. 
A timely request for appeal shall stay any action of the licensing authority until the Alarm Review Board has decided the appeal. If a request for appeal is not made within the ten-day period, the action of the licensing authority is final.
D. 
The appealing party shall be entitled to a hearing by the Alarm Review Board only if requested in the written request for review.
E. 
The Alarm Review Board shall consider the evidence on any interested party while reviewing the decision of the licensing authority. The Board shall make its decision on the basis of the preponderance of the evidence. The Board must render a decision within 30 days after the request for an appeal is filed. The Board shall affirm, reverse or modify the action of the licensing authority. The decision of the Board is final as to administrative remedies with the City.
A. 
Central alarm station systems.
(1) 
The Police Commissioner and the Fire Commissioner are hereby authorized to prescribe the location and the manner of installation of private and regular business telephone lines into police headquarters or fire headquarters from a central alarm station for the express purpose of providing direct telephone communication between a central alarm station and police headquarters or fire headquarters for use in reporting alarms.
(2) 
The Police Commissioner and the Fire Commissioner reserve the right to cancel service of such systems and order the removal of all equipment at no cost to the City of Yonkers.
B. 
Direct alarm systems.
(1) 
The Police Commissioner and the Fire Commissioner are hereby authorized to prescribe the location and the manner of installation of all cabinets, accessories, connections and equipment of an approved direct alarm system with police headquarters or fire headquarters for the purpose of providing a direct alarm system where the visible and audible signals therefrom may be readily seen and heard by police or fire personnel.
(2) 
The Police Commissioner and the Fire Commissioner reserve the right to cancel service of such systems and order the removal of all equipment at no cost to the City of Yonkers.
C. 
Panic alarms. Upon receipt of a panic alarm notification by the Police Department, police officers shall effectuate a response which shall include an entry into the premises. Such entry shall be made in the least obtrusive manner possible under the circumstances.
D. 
Disrupted service. When the service of reporting emergencies to the Police Department or Fire Department from a central station protective system, a modified central station or a licensed answering service is disrupted by fire, storm or other cause, the person in charge of such authorized intermediary shall notify its customers as quickly as possible by telephone that protection is no longer being provided. Such notice shall be promptly confirmed by letter, a copy of which shall be sent to the Department concerned.
E. 
No liability of City of Yonkers. The City of Yonkers shall not be liable for any defects in operation of automatic protection devices and signal line systems, for any failure or neglect to respond appropriately upon receipt of an alarm from such a source nor for the failure or neglect of any person with a license issued pursuant to this chapter in connection with the installation and operation of equipment, the transmission of alarm signals and prerecorded alarm messages or the relating of such signals and messages. In the event that the City of Yonkers finds it necessary to disconnect a defective automatic protection device or signaling device, the City of Yonkers shall incur no liability by such action.
F. 
Confidentiality. Information obtained by the licensing authority, the Police Commissioner or the Fire Commissioner under this chapter will be considered confidential and shall not be divulged, except as necessary or appropriate for the enforcement or administration of this chapter or to assist in the City's response to alarm notifications.
G. 
Municipal property. None of the fees or charges of this chapter shall apply to City of Yonkers property, Yonkers Board of Education property or county, state or federally owned property. Each governmental entity is required to complete a license application pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
H. 
Records. Every person conducting the business of owning, operating, maintaining, installing, leasing or selling police or fire alarm devices or providing answering service within the City of Yonkers shall maintain complete and accurate records of all installations of alarm systems and services in the City of Yonkers and shall produce such records for inspection by the licensing authority, the Police Department or the Fire Department upon reasonable demand.
A. 
A financial institution required to have an alarm system pursuant to the provisions of the Bank Protection Act of 1968 (12 U.S.C. § 1882) may install, with the permission of the Police Commissioner, a signal line directly to the Police Department for the purpose of reporting burglaries and robberies. If such an arrangement is made, all other requirements of this chapter must be met, including but not limited to the application for an alarm system permit. The financial institution shall execute a letter of agreement with the City permitting the installation of all necessary equipment on an indicator panel monitored in the communications divisions of the Police Department. The installation must be accomplished at the institution's expense.
B. 
The financial institution shall pay an annual fee of $200 for each indicator. The Police Commissioner shall have the right, at reasonable times and upon oral notice, to inspect the alarm system at the alarm site and require necessary repairs or improvements. If the Police Commissioner finds that the alarm system continually fails to operate properly or be operated properly, he may terminate the privilege to have equipment and indicators in the communications center of the Police Department and require prompt removal of the equipment at the expense of the financial institution.
C. 
The financial institution, at its expense, shall make arrangements to provide service of the alarm system at the request of the financial institution or the Police Commissioner on a twenty-four-hour basis, seven days a week. In no event shall the City become liable for charges for repairs and maintenance.
D. 
The financial institution may cancel its agreement with the City at any time by giving the City written notice through the Police Commissioner and, at its own expense, remove its equipment and indicators from the monitor panel in the communications center.
E. 
The Police Commissioner may require any change, modernization or consolidation of alarm signaling equipment that he deems advisable. In no event shall the City become liable for charges for these changes.
F. 
Instead of a direct signal line, a financial institution may report burglaries and robberies by transmission through an alarm monitoring company using a special trunkline designated by the Police Commissioner.
[Amended 10-22-2013 by L.L. No. 7-2013; 10-28-2014 by L.L. No. 16-2014; 12-8-2015 by L.L. No. 24-2015[1]]
Any violation of this chapter shall be a Class II offense. The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced pursuant to Article VI-A of the Charter and Chapter 19 of the Code.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.