[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Wallkill 4-24-1997 by L.L. No. 2-1997. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Board of the Town of Wallkill finds that standards and controls regarding intrusion, holdup and other emergency signal devices or protective services and the businesses and persons dealing in such devices or protective services are necessary to safeguard the public health, safety and welfare, which standards and controls will afford greater emergency protection to the public; will expedite emergency communication and response; will facilitate coordination of emergency procedures; will minimize false alarms and other misleading or confusing signals or procedures; and will encourage the use of reliable systems and personnel to facilitate emergency services available to the public. This chapter is intended to serve the foregoing purposes by regulating the use, installation, repair or maintenance of any police, fire or medical emergency alarm device or protective service in the Town of Wallkill except in conformity with the provisions of this chapter and the rules and regulations promulgated hereunder.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them by this section:
- ALARM DEVICE, POLICE, FIRE AND MEDICAL EMERGENCY
- Any device which, when activated by a criminal act, fire or other emergency, transmits a prerecorded message or other signal by telephone, radio, central alarm station or audible or visible signal designed to cause any person within audible or visual range to notify the Police Department or Fire Department, requiring its respective emergency response.
- AUTOMATIC DIAL ALARM
- Any police, fire or emergency medical alarm device or telephone attachment that automatically or electronically transmits a signal to preselected telephone lines connected to a central alarm station or police headquarters and reproduces a prerecorded message to report a criminal act or other emergency requiring police, fire or medical emergency response.
- CENTRAL ALARM STATION
- Any facility operated by a private firm that owns or leases a system of police, fire or medical emergency alarm devices, which facility is manned by operators who receive, record or validate alarm signals to the Police Department or Fire Department when appropriate.
- DIRECT CONNECTION
- Any alarm device which transmits a signal or impulse over a leased telephone line to the alarm indicator panel at police headquarters.
- FALSE ALARM
- Any signal actuated by police, fire or medical emergency alarm device, devices or system of police, fire or medical emergency alarm devices which is not the result of natural disaster, act of God, a criminal act, fire or other emergency resulting in police, fire or other emergency services response. The term "false alarm" shall include human error and equipment malfunction causing the alarm to be activated and which results in police or fire response.
- PUBLIC NUISANCE
- Anything which annoys, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health or safety of a considerable number of persons of any community or neighborhood.
- SMOKE AND/OR HEAT DETECTOR
- Any device which, when activated by fire or smoke or other emergency, is designed to alert only the occupants of the building in which the smoke and/or heat detectors are installed of said emergency.
It shall be a violation of this chapter for any automatic dial alarm to be directly connected to the emergency telephone line of the Police Department or the Fire Departments/Districts. Any such automatic dial alarm may be connected to a central alarm station or other answering service for notification to the appropriate service. Existing systems in violation of this section shall have 90 days from the effective date of this chapter to convert or make the necessary changes in compliance thereof.
It shall be a violation of this chapter for any police, fire or medical emergency alarm device to be connected to the Police Department. Any such police, fire or medical emergency device may be connected to a central alarm station or other answering service for notification to the appropriate service.
All alarm systems shall be equipped with a device which will give an indication, prior to alarm system activation, which warns the alarm user of an open circuit.
No person shall install, cause to be installed, maintain or cause to be maintained in a structure, building or establishment in the Town of Wallkill an external audible police, fire or medical emergency alarm device which does not also contain an automatic cutoff system or feature automatically cutting off the source of power to the alarm-sounding device after it has sounded for a period of not longer than 15 minutes.
Upon receiving complaints regarding a continuous, uninterrupted or continuously recurring signal, the Police Department shall endeavor to contact the alarm user or those persons designated by the alarm user as contacts in an effort to abate the nuisance. In the event that the Police Department is unable to contact the alarm user or those designated as contacts or if the aforesaid person cannot or will not curtail the audible signal being emitted by the alarm system, the Police Department may direct a police officer, fire fighter or a qualified alarm technician to enter upon the property outside the home or building in which the alarm system is located and take any reasonable action necessary to abate the nuisance.
After an entry upon the property has been made in accordance with this section, the Police Department shall have the property secured, if necessary. The reasonable costs and expenses of abating a nuisance in accordance with this section may be assessed to the alarm user.
Under no circumstances shall the cost of any police, fire or medical emergency alarm device, devices or system of police, fire or medical emergency alarm devices and the maintenance of the same be charged to the Town of Wallkill, its Police Department or Fire Department operating within the town. The owner or lessee of such police, fire or medical emergency alarm devices shall be solely responsible for the service of his or her police, fire or medical emergency alarm devices and/or correcting any malfunction of the same that may occur.
The Chief of Police of the Town of Wallkill shall cause to be kept an up-to-date and accurate log of all false intrusion alarms, and the Chiefs of the various fire districts of the Town of Wallkill shall cause to be kept an up-to-date and accurate log of all false fire and medical emergency alert alarms. These logs shall be transmitted to the Chief of Police on a monthly basis or, at the Chief's discretion, on a more frequent basis. Any owner or lessee of property having a police, fire or medical emergency alarm devices on his premises shall pay to the Town Court, upon demand, a charge for each and every false alarm occurring on his premises in any year as follows:
Any failure by such owner or lessee to pay the aforesaid charges within 30 days of the demand shall be deemed a violation of this chapter in accordance with the provisions of § 65-12 of this chapter.
In addition to the above charges, should more than six false alarms occur in any one premises during any one calendar year, the Town Board of the Town of Wallkill, following a hearing at which such owner or lessee may be present and present evidence, may order said owner or lessee of such premises to disconnect or dismantle or otherwise remove from the Police Department or Fire Department and/or central alarm station any police, fire or medical emergency alarm devices or system of police, fire or medical emergency alarm devices causing such false alarms, at no expense to the town, and any failure by such owner or lessee to comply with said order within 10 days of its issuance shall be deemed to be a violation of this chapter pursuant to the provisions of § 65-12 of this chapter. The designation of a false alarm will be determined by the Fire Department and reported to the Police Department.
All police, fire and medical emergency alarm fines and false alarm charges shall be collected by the Town Court.
None of the provisions of this chapter shall apply to police, fire or medical emergency alarm devices installed in town-owned buildings, motor vehicles or trailers or to smoke and/or heat detectors.
The Town of Wallkill shall take every reasonable precaution that alarm signals received by the town are given appropriate and and immediate attention. Nevertheless, the town shall not be liable for any defects in operation of any police, fire or medical emergency alarm devices, for any failure to respond appropriately on any alarm signal or for the transmission of alarm signals or messages or the relaying of such signals or messages. In the event that the town orders the disconnection or removal of a police, fire or medical emergency alarm device or system of police, fire or medical emergency alarm devices pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, the town shall incur no liability therefrom.
Except as otherwise provided for herein, any person, business, firm, corporation or other entity who does not pay any fee or charge established in this chapter or who violates any provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a fine not in excess of $500 or imprisonment for 15 days, or both, for each offense. A separate offense shall be deemed committed upon each day during which a violation occurs or is committed.