[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Saco 5-1-1995 as Ch. III, Sec. 3-4, of the 1994 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Amended 5-3-2004; 12-20-2004]
The number of burglar alarms in use within the City has increased greatly over the past few years. Along with this increase there has been an increase in false alarms and associated problems, which have impacted the Police Department's ability to respond to emergencies. This chapter recognizes the need for regulation of the use of alarms to minimize false alarms and to compensate for the inappropriate use of municipal resources in response to false alarms, and to clarify the rights and responsibilities of the property owner and of the City of Saco.
[Amended 5-3-2004; 12-20-2004]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM SYSTEM
- Any mechanism, equipment or device designed for the detection of an unauthorized entry upon any property, or signifying any other type of emergency response, other than to a motor vehicle or vessel, and which emits an audible, visual, electronic or other signal when activated.
- ALARM USER
- Any person whose property is protected by an alarm system.
- FALSE ALARM
- Any alarm signal which is not in response to an actual or attempted unauthorized entry upon property, or other emergency requiring an immediate police response, including any signal emitted by a negligently activated alarm system or by an alarm system deliberately activated when an immediate police response is not required, or by a malfunctioning alarm system. In the event an alarm is activated as a result of a natural or unnatural event beyond the property owner's control (i.e., disruption of the electrical service due to storm, motor vehicle accident, and the like), no fee shall be imposed, at the discretion of the Chief of Police.
[Added 5-3-2004; amended 12-20-2004]
No system shall be permitted which automatically transmits a signal or alarm directly to the Police Department telephone lines.
Editor's Note: This amendment also repealed former § 57-3, Monitoring fee, as amended.
Any alarm user whose alarm system produces a false alarm is subject to the schedule of fees in this section.
The City shall charge a fee, that shall be established by the City Council after a public hearing, for each false alarm to which the Police Department responds; provided, however, that there shall be no charge for the first false alarm and provided, further, that the fee shall be established by the City Council at a public hearing for the sixth and all additional false alarms to which the Police Department responds. For the purposes of this section, the number of false alarms shall be based upon the calendar year and shall be calculated annually.
Editor's Note: Copies of the current fee schedule are on file in the office of the City Clerk.
The City also reserves the right to collect false alarm fees as otherwise permitted by law.
Within the ten-day period after a demand for payment of a fee assessed under this section, the person from whom the fee is demanded may appeal the imposition of the false alarm fee to the Chief of Police, who may abate or reduce the fee upon good cause shown. The decision of the Chief of Police shall be final.
All new systems will have a one-month grace period from the false alarm provisions of § 57-4.