[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Robinson as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 9-14-2015 by Ord. No. 7-2015]
For the purposes of this article, the following terms are defined as follows:
- A communication to the central dispatch or control center, which results in a communication to the McDonald Police Department or the McDonald Volunteer Fire Department or Midway Volunteer Fire Department indicating that a crime, fire or other emergency situation requiring action by the Police Department or Fire Department has occurred or is occurring.
- ALARM SYSTEM
- Any mechanical or electrical device which is designed to be activated manually or automatically upon the detections of any unauthorized entry, intrusion, fire, smoke, or other emergency in or on any building, structure or facility or a signal or message, including the use of a telephone, to any control center or department.
- ALARM USER
- Any homeowner, tenant, resident, business organization, nonprofit organization, or charitable institution which uses an alarm system to protect any building, structure, facility or premises.
- BUSINESS ORGANIZATION
- Any proprietorship, partnership, corporation or any other form of business organization whatsoever, including but not limited to for-profit business, nonprofit businesses and/or charitable institutions, doing business in the Township of Robinson.
- CHIEF OF POLICE
- The Chief of Police of the McDonald Police Department.
- CONTROL CENTER
- The control panel or communication system installed at the Central Control System for Washington County for the purpose of giving visual or audio response to a direct alarm communication and/or telephonic or radio communications to the Police Department or Fire Department.
- FALSE ALARM
- Any activation of an alarm system, intentionally or by inadvertence, negligence or unintentional act, which causes a direct, radio or telephonic communication to the Police Department or Fire Department, to which said departments respond by initiating dispatch personnel or units to the alarm user, except that the following shall not be considered false alarms:
- A. When the Police Department or Fire Department determines that an alarm has been caused by the malfunction of the indicator at the control center.
- B. When the Police Department or Fire Department determines that an alarm has been caused by damage, testing or repair of telephone equipment or lines by the telephone company.
- C. When an alarm is caused by an attempted and unauthorized or illegal entry, of which there is visible evidence.
- D. When an alarm is intentionally caused by the resident acting under a reasonable belief that a need exists to call the Police Department or Fire Department.
- E. When an alarm is followed by a call to the Police Department or Fire Department cancelling the alarm by giving proper information and the Police Department or Fire Department does not arrive at the source of the alarm.
- FIRE CHIEF
- The Fire Chief of the McDonald Volunteer Fire Department and/or the Midway Volunteer Fire Department.
- FIRE DEPARTMENT
- The McDonald Volunteer Fire Department and/or the Midway Volunteer Fire Department.
- Any person, corporation, partnership, proprietorship or any other form of business organization which owns a building in the Township of Robinson designed or used exclusively as living quarters for one or more families.
- POLICE DEPARTMENT
- The McDonald Police Department.
False alarms shall be calculated over a period of 12 months. At the end of 12 months from the date of the first false alarm response, the number of false alarm responses shall be returned to "0."
Upon a determination by the Chief of Police or Fire Chief that a false alarm has occurred, the Chief of Police or Fire Chief shall direct his/her department to send written notice to the alarm user notifying the alarm user of the determination that a false alarm has occurred. The written notice shall direct the alarm user to pay the applicable service charge to Robinson Township within 30 days from the date of the applicable written notice.
The Department shall cancel any notice of service charge upon satisfactory proof by the alarm user that a particular alarm falls within the exceptions enumerated in § 156-1.
Should the alarm user disagree with the determination of the Chief of Police or the Fire Chief, as set forth in this article, said alarm user shall have the right to appeal said determination within 30 days from the date of the applicable written notice to the Magisterial District Judge for the Township of Robinson. The hearing on said appeal shall be held in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania governing hearings before the Magisterial District Judge and shall constitute an appeal of the application of the service charge by the Township of Robinson.
At the hearing on the appeal, pursuant to this article, the alarm user is deemed to be legally responsible and liable under this article for all false alarms which occur at the premises of the alarm user and the alarm user shall have the burden of proving that the subject false alarm is within the exceptions enumerated in this article.
An alarm user found guilty of a violation(s) of this article after a hearing with the Magisterial District Judge shall pay to Robinson Township the applicable service charge pursuant to the applicable written notice, plus all costs and fees incurred by the Township, including reasonable attorneys' fees.
Any party aggrieved by the decision for the Magisterial District Judge, as outlined herein, shall have the right to appeal to the Court of Common Pleas within 30 days of the date of the Magisterial District Judge's decision.
The Township shall have all rights and remedies at law to collect subject service charge upon failure of the alarm user to appeal a service charge to the Magisterial District Judge, or appeal the Magisterial District Judge's decision to the Court of Common Pleas, or otherwise upon a nonappealable determination by a Court of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania having jurisdiction of an action brought pursuant to this article.
Should any section or provision of this article be declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to be unconstitutional, invalid or illegal, this decision shall not affect the validity of the article as a whole or any part thereof, other than the part so declared to be unconstitutional, invalid or illegal. It is hereby declared that it is the intent of the Board that this article would have been adopted had such unconstitutional, illegal or invalid section or provision not been included therein.
All ordinances or parts of ordinances which are inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed.
This article shall become effective five days after adoption.