[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Rahway 7-9-1984 by Ord. No. A-12-84 as Ch. 67 of the 1984 Code; amended in its entirety 1-12-2004 by Ord. No. O-89-03. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM BUSINESS
- Any person who:
- ALARM SYSTEM
- Any device (other than a device installed upon premises occupied by the City) to detect, deter, sound, prevent, or signal an intrusion or other criminal activity, fire, rescue, or other emergency situation (collectively "emergency") which, when activated, employs the use of:
- AUDIBLE ANNUNCIATOR
- That part of an alarm system which, when activated, sounds or signals an emergency by means of a bell, siren, buzzer or similar sound-producing device, which is audible at a distance of 50 feet from the protected premises.
- FALSE ALARM
- Any alarm that is activated on purpose or by accident, or by system malfunction when there is no intrusion, fire, smoke, or medical emergency. The City shall have full authority and discretion to determine those situations and/or circumstances that may constitute a false alarm, but which are not set forth below.
- A. Error or mistake: any action by any person, firm, corporation, or other entity owning or operating any dwelling, building, or place, or any action of an agent or employee thereof, which results in the activation of any alarm system when no emergency exists.
- B. Malfunction: any unintentional activation of any alarm system caused by a mechanical malfunction, flaw in design, installation or maintenance of the system; Any activation caused by extraordinary violent conditions of nature, such as tornadoes, floods, or earthquakes, shall not be considered a malfunction.
- C. Intentional misuse: any intentional activation of an alarm system when no burglary, hold-up, fire, or other emergency exists or is in progress.
- D. Alarms that are cancelled by the Alarm Company, responsible party or resident prior to the dispatch of a police unit shall not be classified as false alarms.
- The person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company, or organization whose premises are or will be protected by an alarm system. If the premises are leased, the principal shall be the person in possession or control of the protected premises, unless more than one tenant is served by a single alarm system, in which event, "principal" shall mean the owner of the protected premises.
- PROTECTED PREMISES
- The area that is or will be covered by an alarm system.
Editor's Note: The former definition of "coordinator," which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 10-15-2013 by Ord. No. O-40-13.
It shall be unlawful for any person to install, use, or maintain an alarm system in violation of any of the requirements of the chapter.
Any alarm system installed on protected premises shall be registered with the police as set forth below:
Existing alarm systems. Any alarm system, which has been installed as of the effective date of this chapter shall be registered by the principal within 60 days of such effective date.
New alarm systems. Any principal that has an alarm system installed on a protected premises located within the City shall have 10 days from the date of installation to register the alarm system as required by this chapter. Failure of the principal to submit the initial permit fee to the City, or its designee, shall result in a fine to the principal of $100.
The City, or its designee, shall register each alarm system installed on protected premises upon receipt from the registering principal of the following information on forms provided for that purpose:
The name, address and telephone number of the principal.
The type of premises (e.g., home, office, variety store, etc.) and the name of any business operating in the protected premises by which the protected premises is known.
The address of the protected premises. If the protected premises are in a residential, commercial or industrial complex (e.g., office building, apartment house, shopping center, etc.), the address shall include the name, if any, by which the complex is commonly known.
The names, addresses and telephone numbers, including home phone numbers, of at least three people and, if applicable, an alarm business which has access to the protected premises and which may be notified in the event the alarm is activated.
Certification by the principal that the principal's immediate family, tenants or employees (as appropriate under the circumstances) who have access to the protected premises have been given training which includes procedures and practices to avoid false alarms and steps to follow in the event the alarm system is accidentally activated.
[Amended 10-15-2013 by Ord. No. O-40-13]
Along with a permit application the principal shall remit a permit fee in the amount of $25, payable to the City, and, if not paid within 30 days of notice, a late charge of $25 shall be applied. An additional late charge of $25 shall be imposed on the first of each month thereafter that the permit fee remains unpaid.
In the case of renewal permits, the twenty-five-dollar permit fee must be paid prior to the first day of March in each year. A late charge of $25 shall be applied if the fee is not paid by that date, and an additional late charge of $25 shall be applied on the first of each month thereafter while the fee remains unpaid [e.g., if the fee is not paid until May 1, a late charge of $75 ($25 for each of March, April, and May) shall be due in addition to the permit fee].
The City or designee shall register the alarm system by issuing to the principal a permit bearing the name of the principal, the address of the protected premises, an identification number, and setting forth the expiration date of the permit. The registration of any alarm system shall not obligate the City or RPDCC to respond or accord any priority to any emergency.
Within 10 days following any change of circumstances, the principal shall supplement or amend all information that was provided to the Police Department at the time of registration. No additional fee shall be due unless the change has terminated the registration as provided in § 125-4D(2).
The principal shall, at all times, be responsible for the proper maintenance and repair of the alarm system, including the repair or replacement of any component or design feature.
Each alarm system shall be maintained so that each audible annunciator will automatically silence within 15 minutes after being activated, and will not be reactivated unless a new emergency occurs.
An alarm system incorporating an audible annunciator shall not be tested between the hours of 8:00 p.m. of any day and 7:00 a.m. of the following day.
Any alarm business communicating the presence of an emergency to the RPDCC shall provide the following information:
The name of the principal, the address of the protected premises, the type of premises (home, office, etc.) and the business name, if any, by which the premises are known. Such information shall be repeated a second time at the end of the message.
The name and telephone number of the principal, business, or its agent having ready access to the protected premises.
The apparent nature or type of an emergency indicated, e.g., burglary in progress, robbery, fire, rescue or other emergency.
Each alarm business which installs, maintains or monitors alarm system within the City of Rahway shall be required to be in compliance with N.J.S.A. 45:5A-1 et seq.
The following shall constitute grounds for suspension and/or revocation of a license or permit:
The violation of any of the provisions of this chapter; or
When an alarm system is knowingly activated by a licensee, permit holder, owner or employee or agent of said parties, in a situation where no burglary, fire intrusion, robbery, medical emergency or other emergency is actually in progress; or
When the licensee, permit holder, owner or an employee or agent of said parties has knowingly made any false, misleading or fraudulent statement of material fact in the application for a license or any report or record required to be filed with the City; or
Failure to pay applicable fees.
The City or its designee, in the case of suspension, shall serve the permit holder with a written order of suspension stating the reasons for the suspension. The order shall be effective immediately if personally served, or 72 hours after the order of suspension has been deposited by ordinary mail, postage prepaid, in the U.S. mail to the address provided on the permit. When an order becomes effective, the permit holder shall immediately discontinue the use of any alarm system requiring a permit under this chapter, and cease all operations conducted under the authority of any permit, unless such alarm is mandated or required as a matter of federal, state, or local law and cannot be disconnected. If the owner or operator of such alarm system continues to maintain the use of the alarm, for each false alarm as defined in § 125-1 of this chapter, the owner or operator of the alarm shall be charged a fee per response according to the provisions contained in § 125-8.
A suspension shall become a revocation 30 days after the order of suspension becomes effective unless the permit holder files an appeal of the order of suspension in the manner as hereinafter set forth in this chapter. When an appeal is filed, the order of suspension shall be stayed pending final determination of the appeal. The suspension shall become a revocation if the decision of the hearing officer upholds the suspension, unless the decision is ultimately overruled by the City Council pursuant to § 125-10. The suspension shall be dissolved immediately if the decision of the hearing officer reverses the suspension. The principal shall be notified if the hearing officer and/or City Council concur with the suspension. After 15 days have elapsed since notification to the licensee of the suspension, the suspension shall be deemed a revocation of the permit.
If any permit is revoked pursuant to this chapter, the permit holder shall immediately surrender the permit to the City.
[Amended 10-15-2013 by Ord. No. O-40-13]
Whenever an alarm system, which is under suspension, revocation or renewal, has been repaired so as to be capable of functioning properly, and the City has received from an alarm company written certification to such effect, the City may recommend reinstatement of the alarm permit, and the permit shall then be issued or reinstated.
[Amended 10-15-2013 by Ord. No. O-40-13]
An alarm system owner who receives a notice of a false alarm may appeal the notice to the Police Chief in the case of a burglar alarm or to the Fire Chief in the case of all other alarms within 30 days of receiving the notice. The Police Chief or Fire Chief may determine the false alarm should be chargeable or nonchargeable against the alarm system owner on the information contained in the appeal form or schedule a hearing, if necessary.
The Police Chief or Fire Chief, as appropriate, may act as the hearing officer or designate another individual to serve as hearing officer. If another individual is designated as hearing officer, the hearing officer's decision shall be a recommendation to the Police Chief or Fire Chief, as appropriate, which decision the respective Chief shall affirm, reject, or modify.
If the false alarm is determined to be chargeable, the penalty, if any, shall be paid in full within 30 days of the date of the respective Chief's determination.
Notice or billing from the City to any alarm system registration holder shall be deemed to have been given or rendered on the date such notice or billing is deposited in the U.S. mail, first class postage prepaid, addressed to the registration holder at the address shown in the City's registration records. A certificate signed by the person who mailed the notice or billing shall be prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein with respect to such notice or billing.
Notice to the City or payment under this chapter shall be effective when received by the appropriate City office or its designee.
Any protected premises owned, maintained and/or operated by the City of Rahway shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter.
Failure to register or pay fees as set out in this chapter may result in the matter being forwarded to a collection agency by the City of Rahway or its designee.
Any violation of the provisions of this chapter may be pursued as a City ordinance violation. The maximum penalty shall be $1,000, plus any outstanding balance due to the City according to the provisions of this chapter, and/or 30 days' imprisonment. Each day that a violation is allowed to continue shall constitute a separate and distinct violation.
[Added 10-15-2013 by Ord. No. O-40-13]
Except as otherwise provided, this chapter shall be administered and enforced by the Rahway Police Department, and, except where a contrary meaning is clear from the context, every reference to the City's designee in this chapter shall mean the Chief of Police or his designee.