Township of Carroll, PA
York County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of Carroll Township 10-7-1997 by Ord. No. 102-1997. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "False Alarm Ordinance."
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:
AUTOMATIC PROTECTION DEVICE (ALARM SYSTEM)
Any mechanical or electrically operated device or instrument composed of sensory apparatus and related hardware which is designed or used for the detection of an unauthorized entry into a building, structure or facility or an attempt thereof or designed or used for alerting others of the commission or attempted commission of an unlawful act within a building, structure or facility or designed or used for the detection of fire, flames or smoke within a building, structure or facility, or any combination thereof; 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 a communications center, alarms relayed through any private central station and proprietary alarms. The following devices shall not be included under the definition:
A. 
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.
B. 
Devices which are designed, used or provided for the sole purpose of evacuation of occupants of industries, institutions and other similar premises.
C. 
Devices which are designed for and installed upon motorized vehicles or trailers.
D. 
Devices maintained and/or operated by the Carroll Township Police Department and/or any volunteer fire company serving Carroll Township used for the detection of unlawful acts or for demonstration purposes.
COMMUNICATION CENTER
The York County Communications Center, the Carroll Township Police Department headquarters, any base of any Volunteer Fire Company serving Carroll Township or any other specifically authorized location.
FALSE ALARM
Any activation of an automatic protection devise signal or notification of such activation by any means resulting in or expecting the response of the Carroll Township Police Department and/or any fire company where an emergency situation does not or did not exist at the time of such activation. The term does not include alarms caused by hurricane, tornados, earthquakes, floods or other violent acts or acts of God.
FIRE DEPARTMENT
Any and all officers, members and equipment of any volunteer fire department serving Carroll Township.
PERSON
Any person, group, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
POLICE CHIEF
The Chief of Police of the Carroll Township Police Department or his designated representative.
POLICE or POLICE DEPARTMENT
All members of the Carroll Township Police Department.
RECORDS
The reports, incidents, statistics or files of the Carroll Township Police Department and/or any volunteer fire company serving Carroll Township.
TROUBLE ALARM
A condition whereby an automatic protection device is in a pre-alarm condition, commonly referred to as a "trouble setting," and a communications center receives notification of such condition. In the absence of an actual emergency, a "trouble alarm" shall be considered a false alarm.
A. 
Excessive false alarms. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, it shall be prohibited for any person to accumulate more than three false alarms in a period of 12 months. A twelve-month period shall run from January 1 to December 31, inclusive, on any given year. The number of false alarms during any twelve-month period shall be ascertained from the records of the Police Department or Fire Department, or both. Multiple alarms received during the same call for service by the Police or Fire Department or both may be treated as a single false alarm.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
B. 
Testing without permission. It shall be prohibited for any person to conduct any test or demonstration of any automatic protection device designed to make direct connection to the communications center at any time without first obtaining the express permission of the communications center or the police. Such permission is not required where the device to be tested or demonstrated is not connected to a communications center and the receipt of the alarm or signal is not relayed to the Police or Fire Department by any means.
C. 
Connection of automatic dialing service. It shall be prohibited for any person to authorize and/or connect or interconnect an automatic dialing device to a communications center telephone line not designated for such connections. Connections to designated telephone lines shall not be made without the express permission of the communications center involved.
D. 
Operation of automatic protection device when privilege suspended or revoked. It shall be prohibited for any person to operate or maintain an automatic protection device at any time when the privilege to do so has been suspended or revoked in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
A. 
The 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 representative.
B. 
The Chief of Police may promulgate such rules as are necessary for administration and enforcement of this chapter. Any such rules shall be approved by a duly approved resolution of the Carroll Township Board of Supervisors and shall be available for public inspection.
C. 
Where an automatic protection device is activated and continuously transmits a signal, either through malfunction or defect in the system, the police are authorized to disconnect the automatic protection device until such time as repairs are made.
When the police disconnect an automatic protection device under § 123-4C of this chapter, no liability shall incur to the Township of Carroll or any of its employees through such action.
A. 
Any person possessing and using an automatic protection device shall maintain such device in good working order.
B. 
Any person possessing and using an automatic protection device shall, upon request, furnish information to the police concerning emergency contact in case of system malfunctions. The police shall provide forms for the recording of this information.
C. 
Any person who has had an automatic protection device disconnected under § 123-4C of this chapter shall not reconnect the device without the permission of the police. Such permission shall not be withheld when proof of repair is shown.
D. 
Any person who has had an automatic protection device disconnected under § 123-4C of this chapter shall be deemed to have his privilege to operate or maintain such device suspended or revoked. Such suspension or revocation shall remain in full force and effect until the conditions of § 123-4C of this chapter are met.
E. 
Where an automatic protection device is installed or attached to a business, warehouse, institution or other similar premises, the person having the greatest administrative or operations power shall be held responsible for that false alarm when a false alarm is received by the Police or Fire Department. In the event that the identity of such person is not ascertained or if the business, warehouse, institution or other similar premises is closed, the owner or manager or any administrative personnel may be held responsible for a false alarm.
The information furnished and secured pursuant to this chapter shall be confidential in nature and shall not be subject to public inspection and shall be kept so that the contents thereof shall not be known except to those persons charged with the administration of this chapter.
The Police Department and the Fire Department shall respond without charge for the first three false alarms recorded at any protected premises during a calendar year. After three false alarms have been recorded against any protected premises during a calendar year, the Police and/or Fire Department shall respond to any alarm call received. When such response actually occurs and there is more than three false alarms that have been recorded against the protected premises during the calendar year, service fees shall by assessed against the person responsible for the protected premises as follows:
A. 
Eighty dollars for each half hour or part thereof of response or service time involving the Police Department.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
B. 
One hundred dollars for each half hour or part thereof of response or service time involving the Fire Department.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
C. 
In the event both the Police Department and the Fire Department respond, the service fee assessed shall be $180 for each half hour or part thereof of response or service actually rendered.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
D. 
The service fees are due and payable within 30 days to Carroll Township.
E. 
When such service fees are assessed, Carroll Township shall notify the responsible party of the fees due for services rendered.
F. 
Any person or entity failing to pay the fee due for services rendered under this chapter within 30 days shall be considered in default of payment and in violation of the payment of service fees provisions of this chapter.
A. 
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall pay a penalty as follows:
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
(1) 
For one false alarm over the limit allowed, the penalty shall be $100, plus court costs.
(2) 
For two false alarms over the limit allowed, the penalty shall be $150, plus court costs.
(3) 
For three false alarms over the limit allowed, the penalty shall be $200, plus court costs.
(4) 
For four or more false alarms over the limit allowed, the penalty shall be no less than $300 and no more than $1,000, plus court costs.
B. 
Any person operating an alarm system while the privilege to do so is suspended or revoked shall pay a penalty as follows:
(1) 
For the first violation a penalty of $300, plus court costs.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
(2) 
For second and subsequent violations, a penalty of not less than $300 nor more than $1,000, plus court costs.
C. 
Any person failing to pay an appropriate service fee within the designated time frame shall pay a penalty of not less than $300 nor more than $1,000, plus the service fee and court costs.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
D. 
The penalties specified in this chapter are in addition to any service fees that may be charged under the chapter.