[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Fond du Lac 6-23-1993 by Ord. No. 2679 as §§ 9.12 and 9.30 of the 1993 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter is enacted to provide minimum standards and regulations applicable to burglar and holdup alarm systems, alarm businesses and alarm users. Both society in general and public safety in particular will be aided by providing a useful and usable system of private security which properly balances quick response by police with minimization of police time spent on alarms which are false or otherwise not the intended function of private security systems.
Within this chapter, the following terms, phrases and words and their derivations have the meaning given herein:
- ALARM BUSINESS
- Any business in which the owners or employees engage in the activity of altering, installing, leasing, maintaining or repairing, replacing, selling or servicing alarm systems.
- ALARM SYSTEM
- An assembly of equipment and devices or a single device, such as a solid state unit which plugs directly into a 110 volt AC line or otherwise receives electrical energy, arranged to signal the presence of a hazard requiring urgent attention and to which police are expected to respond. In this chapter, the term shall include, but not be limited to, the terms "automatic holdup alarm system," "burglar alarm system," "holdup alarm system" and "manual holdup alarm system" as those terms are hereafter defined. Excluded from this definition and from the coverage of this chapter are alarm systems used to alert or signal persons within the premises in which the alarm system is located of an attempted unauthorized intrusion or holdup attempt. If a system employs an audible signal emitting sounds or a flashing light or beacon designed to signal persons outside the premises, the system shall be within the definition of "alarm system" and shall be subject to this chapter.
- ANSWERING SERVICE
- A telephone answering service providing among its services the receiving on a continuous basis through trained employees of emergency signals from alarm systems and immediately relaying the message by live voice to the communication center of the Police Department.
- AUTOMATIC DIALING DEVICE
- An alarm system which automatically sends over regular telephone lines, by direct connection or otherwise, a prerecorded voice message or coded signal indicating the existence of the emergency situation that the alarm system is designed to detect.
- AUTOMATIC HOLDUP ALARM SYSTEM
- An alarm system in which the signal transmission is initiated by the action of the robber.
- BURGLAR ALARM SYSTEM
- An alarm system signaling an entry or attempted entry into the area protected by the system.
- FALSE ALARM
- The activation of an alarm system through mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation or the negligence of the owner or lessee of an alarm system or of his employees or agents or other undetermined causes.
- HOLDUP ALARM SYSTEM
- An alarm system signaling a robbery or attempted robbery.
- MANUAL HOLDUP ALARM SYSTEM
- An alarm system in which the signal transmission is initiated by the direct action of the person attacked or by an observer of the attack.
- POLICE CHIEF
- The Chief of the Police Department of the City or his or her designated representative.
The Police Chief shall promulgate such rules as may be necessary for the implementation of this chapter. These rules shall require approval of the City Manager and shall be open to inspection by the public.
No person shall interconnect any automatic dialing device to a Police Department primary trunkline and no person shall permit such devices to remain interconnected from any property owned or controlled by that person. Such devices may be interconnected to a modified central station or an answering service. Relaying messages so received to the Police Department shall only be done person to person on the telephone line designated by the Police Chief. The Police Chief may approve a direct line installation between a modified central station or an answering service and the Police Department, with full costs to be borne by the intermediate service.
The alarm user will provide the Police Department with the names and telephone numbers of at least two other persons who can be reached at any time, day or night, and who are authorized to respond to an emergency signal transmitted by the automatic dialing device and who can open the premises wherein the device is installed. If either of these people cannot be contacted or if they refuse to cooperate with police officials, they shall be subject to a forfeiture under the penalty section of this chapter.
No alarm system designed to transmit emergency messages directly to the Police Department shall be tested or demonstrated without first notifying the Police Department dispatcher.
No alarm system relayed through intermediate services to the Police Department will be tested to determine police response without first notifying the police dispatcher.
When an alarm business service to its subscribers is disrupted for any reason by the alarm business or the alarm business becomes aware of such disruption, it shall promptly notify its subscribers by telephone that protection is no longer being provided. If, however, the alarm business has written instructions from its subscriber not to make such notification by telephone during certain hours, the alarm business may comply with such instructions.
There is hereby imposed a fee for each police response to any alarm resulting from the activation of an alarm system, except when the police find that an unauthorized person is on the premises or was seen on the premises immediately before the alarm was activated or that there is fresh evidence of a forceful entry or attempted forceful entry. Such fee shall be set by resolution of the City Council.
[Amended 12-11-2002 by Ord. No. 3132]
The fee is imposed whether the Police Department receives the alarm by direct connection or through any intermediary, such as an answering service or modified central station. No fee is imposed by this chapter when the choice is made to notify the Police Department directly by person of any situation. The fee imposed by this chapter is imposed solely when the choice is made to employ an alarm system. If the Police Chief is notified of the date of the installation of a new alarm system, the fee imposed by this chapter is waived for a ninety-day period beginning with the date of installation.
The Police Chief is authorized to require that the owner or lessee of any alarm system directly connected to the Department shall disconnect such device until it is working in a manner as will not produce a high frequency of false alarms. The Police Chief may require disconnection if 10 false alarms are received in any twelve-month period. The Police Chief may, after giving notice to the subscriber, order disconnection of the system for noncooperation of the subscriber or for violations of this chapter.
Except as otherwise specifically provided, any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a penalty as provided in § 1-4 of this Code.