[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Rockville Centre 9-24-1979 by L.L. No. 9-1979. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The unregulated transmission of automatic tape alarm systems to police headquarters in the Village has, from time to time, resulted in the overtaxing of facilities and in the impairment of the ability of the Police and Fire Departments of the Village to respond to true emergencies. Additionally, the continued and unnecessarily prolonged emission of sound from audible alarm systems to the surrounding community and the difficulties and delays encountered in silencing such systems have disturbed the rest and repose of residents of the Village and have caused police, fire and other village personnel to spend excessive amounts of time both in the investigation of those alarms and in the attempted silencing of them, thereby preventing the devotion of such time to the protection and general welfare of the inhabitants of the Village.
It is necessary to the general welfare, peace and repose of the Village to protect its residents through the establishment of controls of various types of fire, intrusion, holdup and other emergency signals from fire and police alarm devices which require Fire Department or Police Department response, investigation or safeguarding of property at the location of an event reported by a signal transmitted by telephone or radio or otherwise relayed to the Police Department or the Fire Department by an alarm device requiring investigation or other action by any person acting in response to a signal activated by any alarm device.
The purpose and intent of this chapter is to decrease the congestion of police switchboards and to improve the availability of police and fire equipment and personnel for the handling of emergency situations and to reduce the number of false alarms. It is hereby declared that the noise emanating from audible alarms which continue to sound either without the existence of an emergency situation or after the emergency situation has ended constitutes a public nuisance.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM SYSTEM
- Any alarm device which automatically dials the emergency telephone number of the police and uses a pretaped or prerecorded message to alert the police that an emergency exists or that the services of that department or of the Fire Department are needed. "Alarm system" shall also mean any alarm device which automatically emits an audible, visual or other response upon the occurrence of any hazard or emergency and is intended to alert persons outside the building to the existence of said hazard or emergency. The term shall also include fire alarms for the purposes of this chapter, but does not include alarm signals transmitted to privately operated central stations.
- DIAL ALARM or DIALING DEVICE
- Any fire or police alarm device which is a telephone device or telephone attachment which automatically or electronically selects a telephone line connected to police headquarters and reproduces a prerecorded message to report a criminal act or other emergency requiring Police or Fire Department response.
- FALSE EMERGENCY ALARM
- Any signal actuated by an emergency alarm to which the Police or Fire Department responds which is not the result of a fire, holdup, robbery or other crime or emergency.
- POLICE EMERGENCY NUMBER
- Any telephone number designated by the Commissioner of Police as a telephone number through which members of the public may report an emergency or request public assistance.
- The Incorporated Village of Rockville Centre.
All dialing devices operated by automatic means shall transmit messages only to such numbers as may be designated for that purpose by the Police Department of the Village. After six months following the effective date of this chapter, no person shall use, operate or install any device which will, upon activation by automatic means, initiate the dialing, calling or other connection with the Police Department of the Village either at its regularly constituted telephone number or any other number which may be designated by said Police Department as a police emergency number.
No person shall use, operate or install any dialing device that will, upon activation, automatically dial, call or connect with the telephone number designated by the Commissioner of Police, for the purpose of receiving such alarm messages, more than twice for any one incident. Any system installed on or after the effective date of this chapter must comply with this section. Preexisting installations must comply within six months of the effective date of this chapter.
Upon the activation of a burglary (break-in) alarm, there shall be a mandatory delay of at least 15 seconds before the transmission of a signal to the Police Department to enable the user to abort the signal in the event that it was triggered inadvertently. This delay shall not be applicable to a robbery (holdup), fire or medical emergency alarm. Any system installed on or after the effective date of this chapter must comply with this section. Preexisting installations must comply within six months of the effective date of this chapter.
The user of every alarm system emitting an audible, visual or other response shall, at the time such system is installed, or within six months of the effective date of this chapter in the case of existing systems, install or cause to be installed an automatic timing device which shall deactivate such alarm so that it will be activated for no more than 30 minutes.
The user of every alarm system maintained in the Village, except those installed in motor vehicles, shall, within 10 days of the installation thereof or within 60 days of the enactment of this chapter, file the following information with the Police Department of the Village:
Type of alarm system.
Street address and the nearest cross street of the building which houses the alarm.
In the case of a commercial premises, the name, address and telephone number of an authorized representative and/or an alternative who will be able to respond when called by police to deactivate the alarm system, if necessary.
In the case of a private residence, the name, address and telephone number of a person who is not a resident of the private residence in question and who will be able to deactivate the alarm system.
Such filing requirements are applicable to all alarm systems, whether the same are or are not directly connected to the police headquarters or are merely audible alarms. Such filing must be made within the time period specified above even though there shall have been previous notification of the existence of such alarm systems to the Police Department or any other department of the Village.
The Village Clerk is hereby authorized to grant a revocable permit to any owner, lessee or occupant of property located in the Village to operate, maintain, install or modify a police or fire alarm device, and no such device shall be operated unless such permit shall have first been issued.
The Village Clerk shall charge a fee of $10 for the issuance of any such permit.
A permit issued pursuant to this chapter may be revoked at any time or from time to time by the Village Clerk upon the giving of 10 days' notice in writing, by registered or certified mail, to the permittee, sent to the address shown on the permit. The violation of this chapter, following conviction therefor, shall constitute grounds for the revocation of the permit; the failure of the Village Clerk to revoke the permit following finding by the Village Court that there has been a violation of this chapter shall not be deemed a waiver of the right to revoke the permit.
[Amended 1-7-1985 by L.L. No. 2-1985; 7-11-1988 by L.L. No. 9-1988]
No person shall intentionally, negligently, carelessly or erroneously cause a false alarm. The user of the alarm system shall be solely and wholly responsible for any false alarms. Negligent or careless acts shall include improper maintenance and insufficient or inadequate instructions to tenants, employees, agents, children or others concerned with or having access to the operation of the alarm system.
Any owner or lessee of property having a fire or police alarm device or system of fire or police alarm devices on his or its premises on the effective date of this chapter and any user of services or equipment furnished by a licensee under this chapter shall pay to the town a charge for each and every false emergency alarm to which the Police or Fire Department responds, in each calendar year, as follows:
The above charges shall be paid to the Village Clerk. Failure to pay any such charges shall subject such owner, lessee or user to the penalty provisions of this chapter.
In the event that an alarm system emitting an audible, visual or other similar response shall fail to be deactivated within the time limitation specified in § 81-6 above, the Village shall have the right to take such action as may be necessary in order to disconnect any such alarm.
Any person who violates the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation and, upon conviction, shall be subject to such fine as may be imposed by the Village Justice in accordance with the provisions of the Code of the Village of Rockville Centre.