ALARMS
ORDINANCE RE:  ALARM ORDINANCE

BE IT HEREBY ORDAINED BY THE LEGAL VOTERS OF THE TOWN OF STONINGTON IN LAWFUL TOWN MEETING DULY ASSEMBLED THAT THE FOLLOWING ORDINANCE BE ESTABLISHED BY THE TOWN OF STONINGTON:

1. It has been determined that the number of false alarms being made to the police department hinders the efficiency of the Department, lowers the morale of police personnel, constitutes a danger to the general public in the streets during responses to false alarms, and that the adoption of this ordinance will reduce the number of false alarms and promote the responsible use of alarm devices.

2. DEFINITIONS:  for the purpose of this ordinance, the following definitions shall apply:

a. Alarm Device:  Any device which, when activated by a criminal act or other emergency calling for Police Department response, transmits a signal to Police Headquarters or transmits a signal to a person who relays the information to the Police Headquarters or produces an audible or visible signal to which the Police Department is expected to respond. Excluded from this definition and the scope of this ordinance are devices which are designed to alert or signal only persons within the premises in which the device is installed.

b. Alarm Users:  The owner of any premise or occupant of said premise, in which an alarm is used or provided, who expressly accepts responsibility for an alarm device by registration pursuant to Section 3c shall be deemed the alarm user.

c. Automatic Dial Alarm:  A telephone device or attachment that mechanically or electronically solicits a telephone line to Police Headquarters and produces a pre-recorded voice message to report a criminal act or other emergency calling for Police response.

d. Control Station:  An office to which remote alarm devices transmit signals where operators monitor those signals and relay information to the Police Department.

e. Keyholder:  the individual(s) designated by the alarm user to respond to the premises of the alarm when notified by the Police Department.

f.  False Alarm:  Any activation of an alarm device to which the Police Department responds and which is not caused by a criminal act or other emergency, except an activation caused by a malfunction of telephone equipment or power failure as verified by the Police Department.

3. REGISTRATION

a. Each alarm user who plans to transmit signals to the Police Department must register with the Police Department before doing so.

b. The alarm user or control station shall complete a form provided by the Stonington Police to include such information concerning the alarm device, location, keyholder, and any other necessary information.

c. Central station which plans to monitor alarms and relay information to the Police Department must register each alarm system with the Stonington Police.

d. There shall be an annual fee of ten dollars ($10.00) for each registration accepted.  This fee will go into the Town's General Fund.

e.  It shall be the responsibility of the alarm user and/or the control station to notify the Stonington Police, in writing, of changes in registration information.

4. AUTOMATIC TELEPHONE DIALS AND AUDIBLE ALARM

a. Automatic dial alarms presently connected to police headquarters will be allowed to continue with the understanding that the automatic dial alarm will only activate twice at police headquarters each time an alarm is activated.  The automatic dialer will also be connected to a keyholder and to an alarm company.  No automatic dial alarm device may be installed after July 1, 1993.

b. Unless required by law, no alarm device which produces an exterior audible signal shall be installed unless its operation is automatically restricted to a maximum of fifteen (15) minutes.
                                        
5. DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY - Notwithstanding the provisions of this ordinance, the Town, its departments, officers, agents and employees shall be under no obligation whatsoever concerning the adequacy, operation or maintenance of any alarm device, or of the alarm monitoring facilities at police headquarters.  No liability whatsoever is assumed for the failure of alarm devices or monitoring facilities or for the failure to respond to alarms or for any other mission in connection with such alarm devices.  Each alarm user shall be deemed to hold and save harmless the town, its departments, officers, agents, and employees from liability in connection with the alarm user's alarm.

6. VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES - Any person who performs or causes to be performed any of the following acts shall be subject to a penalty not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100.00) for each such act.

a. Failure to register an alarm device or give notice of changes in registration information as required by this ordinance.

b. Each false alarm in excess of three (3) in any calendar year. Such fine may be waived or suspended by the Chief of Police. Such waiver or suspension must be dependent on the false alarm being beyond the control of the alarm user.

c. Failure of a keyholder to respond to the premises of the alarm when summoned by police headquarters.

d. Use of automatic dialer systems after July 1, 1993 will be prohibited only with the exception of section 4a. in the town of Stonington alarm ordinance.

e. Failure to disconnect an alarm system upon suspension of the alarm device registration.

7. CHARGES FOR VIOLATIONS - Charges for violations shall be collected by the police department and placed in the general fund.

8. ENFORCEMENT - The Town may institute civil proceedings to enforce the provisions of this ordinance.

9. ALARM APPEAL BOARD - There shall be in the Town an alarm appeal Board.  The Appeal Board shall consist of a quorum of the Board of Police Commissioners.

a.  Upon receipt of a timely appeal from a false alarm charge or registration suspension, the Alarm Appeal Board shall hold a hearing to consider it and shall mail a notice of the time and place of said hearing to the alarm user at his last known address at least fifteen (15) days before the hearing.  
On the basis of information provided by the alarm user and other information introduced at the hearing, the Board shall affirm the charge or suspension if it finds that the charge or suspension was properly imposed or rescind the charge or suspension if it finds the charge or suspension was not properly imposed.

b.  A timely appeal is considered to be within fifteen (15) days after notice of the false alarm charge or suspension.

                                
10. EXCEPTION - This ordinance shall not apply to alarm systems owned or controlled by the Town of Stonington, the State of Connecticut or the United States of America.

This ordinance shall become effective fifteen (15) days after publication in a newspaper having circulation in the Town.

Adopted    January 25, 1993
Effective  February 15, 1993