[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Aldermen of the City of Nashua NRO 1975, T. 9, §§ 1701 to 1711; amended in its entirety 12-9-1981 by Ord. No. O-81-164 (Secs. 17-31 to 17-42 of the 1987 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The following words and phrases, as used in this chapter, shall have the meanings given in this section:
- ALARM INSTALLATION
- The design, installation, repair, alteration and maintenance of systems causing an alarm to be sounded in the event of a burglary or robbery.
- ALARM USER
- Any person on whose premises an alarm system is maintained within the City, except for alarm systems on motor vehicles or proprietary alarm systems.
- ANSWERING SERVICE
- A telephone answering service which provides the service of receiving emergency signals from alarm systems, and thereafter immediately relaying the message by live voice to the Police Department.
- CENTRAL ALARM STATION
- Any facility which is privately owned, that owns or leases alarm systems, whose facility is staffed by employees who receive, record or validate alarm signals, and relay the information of such signals to the Police Department by any means.
- DIAL ALARM
- An alarm system which automatically selects a telephone line connected to the Police Department and reproduces a prerecorded voice message or coded signal indicating the existence of an emergency situation that the alarm system is designed to detect.
- DIRECT ALARM
- Any alarm system which is directly connected to the alarm processing unit within the police monitoring facility.
- EMERGENCY ALARM SYSTEM
- An assembly of equipment and devices, or a single device, arranged to signal a hazard or intrusion requiring urgent attention and to which police are expected to respond. The term emergency alarm system shall include terms, "dial alarm," "direct alarm" and "local alarm," as those terms are defined in this section.
- FALSE ALARM
- Any activation of an alarm system to which the police respond which is not the result of a robbery, burglary, attempted robbery or attempted burglary. Such terminology shall not apply to those alarms caused by electrical storms, floods or other violent events of nature.
- LOCAL ALARM
- Any alarm system not connected to the police monitoring facility or to a central station or answering service, which when activated causes an audible and/or visual signaling device at the premises within which the alarm system is installed.
- MANUAL ALARM
- Any alarm in which the activation of the alarm is initiated by the direct action of the alarm user, his agents or employees, and is installed to elicit a police response to a burglary, attempted burglary, robbery or attempted robbery.
- POLICE ALARM MONITORING FACILITY
- The facility located within the Police Department that is monitored by employees who receive, record and validate alarm signals transmitted from private alarm systems.
- PROPRIETARY SYSTEM
- All alarm systems sounding and/or recording alarm and supervisory signals at a control center located within the protected premises; the control center being under the supervision of the proprietor of the protected premises or his employees or agents. If a proprietary alarm system includes a signal line connected directly, or by means of a dialing device, to the police communications center, a central station or answering service, it thereby becomes an emergency alarm system as defined in this section.
Fire alarm systems and alarm systems which monitor temperature, humidity and any other condition not directly related to the detection of an unauthorized intrusion into a premise or robbery or attempted robbery at a premises, are specifically excluded from the provisions of this chapter.
The Chief of Police is hereby authorized to issue a permit to any owner of property located within the City or the lessee thereof, to maintain, install and modify an alarm system upon application to him, and subject to the following provisions:
The alarm user applying for the permit shall state on the application his name, address and telephone number, and in the case of a corporation or legal entity, the name, address, and telephone number of the person responsible for the upkeep, maintenance, and operation of the alarm system, and any other information that the Chief of Police may deem necessary.
The Chief of Police, upon application to him for a permit, shall, in his sound judgment, determine whether the application conforms to the requirements of this chapter, and that the facts stated therein are true and accurate; he may cause such system to be inspected, and determine whether such system is reasonably operational.
A residential permit shall include all private dwellings, individual apartments or condominium units occupied primarily by the applicant, for which the applicant will pay to the City a permit fee of $5 as a one-time fee.
[Amended 2-26-2008 by Ord. No. O-08-07]
A commercial permit shall include all businesses, corporations or unincorporated associations for which the applicant will pay to the City a permit fee of $15.
A separate commercial permit shall be required for each and every alarm system owned or leased by a business, corporation, unincorporated association or other legal entities, which exists at a separate location.
All federal, state, county or local government agencies who operate alarm systems shall be exempt from all permit fees and service charges but shall comply with all other requirements of this chapter and with all requests of the Chief of Police, as shall concern the operation of their alarm systems.
All persons 65 years of age or older who are the principal occupants of the private residence listed on the application shall also be exempt from all permit fees, but shall comply with all other requirements of this chapter.
It shall be unlawful for any person or alarm user to maintain or operate an alarm system, as defined by the terms of this chapter, without first obtaining a permit as provided.
Any person or alarm user who does maintain or operate an alarm system without a permit shall be guilty of a violation, and upon conviction, shall be fined not less than $50.
[Amended 3-26-2002 by Ord. No. O-02-09]
Failure to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter may constitute grounds for the Chief of Police to deny the issuance of a permit, or to suspend or revoke a permit issued under this chapter.
After the Police Department has received four false alarms within a calendar year from any alarm user, the Chief of Police shall notify the user in writing of such fact and require that the user submit a report, within 10 days of such notice, describing efforts to discover and eliminate the cause or causes of the false alarms. If the user fails to submit such a report within 10 days, the Chief of Police may suspend the alarm user's permit, pending notice and hearing.
If the alarm user submits a report, as required by Subsection B above, but the Chief of Police determines that the report is unsatisfactory or that the alarm user has failed to show, by his report, that he has taken or will take reasonable steps to eliminate or reduce false alarms, then the Chief of Police may issue a written notice of his intent to revoke or suspend the alarm user's permit.
Upon receipt of a notice of intent to revoke or suspend an alarm user's permit, pursuant to this chapter, the alarm user may, within five days of such receipt, submit a written request for a hearing before the Chief of Police or his designee, setting forth the reasons why his permit should not be revoked or suspended.
At the hearing before the Chief of Police or his designee, the holder of the permit shall have the right to present evidence, to cross-examine witnesses, and to be represented by counsel. Such a hearing shall be informal and shall not be subject to the rules of evidence or formal courtroom procedure. After the hearing, the Chief of Police or his designee may either issue an order or of revocation, withdraw the notice of revocation, or suspend the permit until such time that he is satisfied that he the cause of the false alarms has been eliminated or that the holder of the permit is in compliance with all provisions of this chapter.
An alarm user whose permit has been revoked is not precluded under this chapter from applying for a new permit. The Chief of Police, however, shall not be required to issue a new permit unless he is satisfied that the user's system has been properly serviced and its deficiencies corrected. The Chief of Police may also impose reasonable restrictions and conditions upon the user before issuing a new permit. These restrictions and/or conditions shall appear on the permit and shall provide for automatic revocation on the occurrence of four false alarms in the remaining permit year.
All alarm users to whom a permit has been issued shall keep the permit within the protected premises for which the permit was issued.
Any alarm permit issued under this chapter shall be made available for inspection, suspension or revocation purposes, upon the demand of any authorized police officer.
Any alarm user who, after having a permit revoked and after exhausting his right to a hearing, fails to disconnect his alarm system, shall be guilty of a violation, and upon conviction, shall be fined not less than $100.
Any owner or lessee of property having an alarm system on his premises, and any user of alarm services or equipment designed and installed with the intent of eliciting a police response, shall pay to the City a service charge of $25 for each and every false alarm to which the police respond in excess of the initial four false alarms in a calendar year.
Any central station, answering service or proprietary system that in any manner notifies the Police Department of an alarm signal from an alarm system of an alarm user who does not possess an alarm user's permit, or whose permit has been suspended, revoked or denied, shall be charged $25 for each notification made to the Police Department.
Any alarm user, owner or lessee who possesses an alarm user's permit may appeal false alarm service charges in writing to the Chief of Police within 10 days after receipt of the notice of penalty.
The Chief of Police or his designee may waive assessment of the service charge when, in his judgment, reasonable attempts are being taken to discover and eliminate the cause of the false alarms.
The Police Department of the City shall take every reasonable precaution to ensure that the alarm signals and prerecorded alarm messages received by the Police Department are given appropriate attention and are acted upon with dispatch. Nevertheless, the Police Department shall not be liable for any defects in the operation of alarm devices, for any failure or neglect to respond appropriately upon receipt of an alarm from such source, nor for the failure or neglect of any person in connection with the installation and operation of alarm systems or their components, the transmission of alarm signals and prerecorded messages, or the relaying of such signals and messages. If the Police Department finds it necessary to disconnect an alarm device after exhausting all another provisions of this chapter, the Police Department shall incur no liability by such action.
Editor's Note: Original § 17-42, Records, which immediately followed this section, was deleted 2-26-2008 by Ord. No. O-08-07.