Bothell, WA-Chapter 9.13- FALSE ALARMS

Chapter 9.13


9.13.010    Purpose.

9.13.020    Definitions.

9.13.030    Reserved.

9.13.040    Fees – Corrective action – Disconnection.

9.13.050    Administrative decision – Notice.

9.13.060    Hearing from administrative decision – Finality.

9.13.070    Payment of fees required.

9.13.080    Automatic dialing device – Certain interconnections prohibited.

9.13.090    Automatic reset required.

9.13.010 Purpose.

It is the intent of this chapter to reduce the number of false alarms occurring within the city and the resultant waste of city resources by providing for corrective administrative action, including imposition of fees, potential disconnection and/or criminal penalties. (Ord. 1911 § 2, 2003).

9.13.020 Definitions.

In this chapter, unless a different meaning plainly is required, the definitions contained in this section shall apply:

A.    “Automatic dialing device” means a device which is interconnected and is programmed to select a predetermined telephone number and transmit by voice message or code signal an emergency message indicating a need for emergency response.

B.    “Chief of police” includes his or her designee.

C.    “False alarm” means the activation of a burglary and/or robbery alarm by other than a forced entry, attempted forced entry, unlawful entry or actual robbery or attempted robbery on the premises and at the time when no robbery, burglary or crime involving a foreseeable risk of grievous bodily harm is being committed or attempted on the premises.

D.    “Interconnect” means to connect an alarm system, including an automatic dialing service, to a telephone line, either directly or through a mechanical device that utilizes a telephone, for the purpose of using the telephone line to transmit a message upon the activation of the alarm system.

E.    “Owner” means the person having or maintaining a burglary and/or robbery alarm on premises owned and/or occupied by him.

F.    “Person” means any natural person, partnership, joint stock company, unincorporated association or society or a corporation of any character whatsoever.

G.    “Response” shall be deemed to have occurred when the police department begins to proceed towards the premises as a result of the activation of the alarm. (Ord. 1911 § 2, 2003).

9.13.030 Reserved.

(Ord. 1911 § 2, 2003).

9.13.040 Fees – Corrective action – Disconnection.

For police response to any false alarms, the city may charge and collect from the owner such fees as established by resolution of the city. In addition to the imposition of fees, the chief of police is authorized to conduct the following investigations:

A.    For a response to a premises at which no other false alarm has occurred within the preceding six-month period, referred to in this chapter as a “first response,” the chief of police shall give notice of conditions and requirements of this chapter to the owner.

B.    For a second response to the premises within six months after a first response, the owner shall, within five working days after notice to do so, make a written report to the chief of police on prescribed forms setting forth:

1.    The cause of such false alarm;

2.    The corrective action taken;

3.    Whether and when such alarm has been inspected by authorized service personnel;

4.    Such other information as the chief of police may reasonably require to determine the cause of such false alarm, any mitigating circumstances and corrective action necessary.

    The chief of police may direct the owner to have authorized service personnel inspect the alarm at such premises and to take other corrective action as prescribed by the chief of police. All costs of inspection and corrective action shall be borne by the owner.

C.    Upon a finding that a third false alarm or any succeeding false alarm occurs as a result of failure to take necessary corrective action prescribed under subsection B of this section, the chief of police may order the owner to disconnect such alarm until the prescribed corrective action is provided to the police department; provided, however, that no disconnection shall be ordered from any premises required by law or administrative regulation to have an alarm system in operation.

D.    It is unlawful to have or maintain on any premises a burglary and/or robbery alarm unless there is on file with the Bothell police department an emergency response card containing the name or names and current telephone number or numbers of person(s) authorized to enter such premises and turn off any such alarm at all hours of the day and night. (Ord. 1911 § 2, 2003).

9.13.050 Administrative decision – Notice.

A.    Notice of imposition of any administrative sanction, including the imposition of a fee and/or order of disconnection under the provisions of this chapter shall be sent by mail or delivered personally to the owner; provided, that with respect to business premises, mailing or personal delivery to the manager or chief administrative agency regularly assigned or employed at the premises at the time of the occurrence of a false alarm shall be deemed to be mailing or personal delivery to the owner.

B.    The notice shall specify the sanctions imposed and shall advise the owner that unless he requests a hearing with the city manager as set forth in BMC 9.13.060 by filing a written request with the city manager within 15 days of the date of the notice, the sanctions will be imposed. (Ord. 1911 § 2, 2003).

9.13.060 Hearing from administrative decision – Finality.

A.    Any person subject to the imposition of a fee, order of disconnection or other administrative sanction under the terms of this chapter shall have a right to a hearing with the city manager upon filing a timely written request.

B.    The request for a hearing must be made in writing and filed with the city manager within 15 days of the date of the notice of administrative decision required in BMC 9.13.050. Upon receipt of a timely written request, the city manager shall schedule a hearing date and inform the owner of the date, time and place of the hearing. The city manager shall consider the record of past false alarms, any corrective action taken and any inspection reports on the cause of the false alarm. If the city manager determines that the false alarms are not caused by the owner or his employees or agents and that reasonable steps have been taken to correct the problem, the fee or other sanction may be suspended, in whole or in part. The city manager shall keep a written report of the hearing including a statement of reasons for whatever action is taken. (Ord. 1911 § 2, 2003).

9.13.070 Payment of fees required.

It is unlawful for any person to fail or refuse to pay any fees imposed under this chapter. In addition to institution of any criminal proceeding, the city manager may authorize the city attorney to collect the fees by appropriate legal action. (Ord. 1911 § 2, 2003).

9.13.080 Automatic dialing device – Certain interconnections prohibited.

It is unlawful for any person to program an automatic dialing device to select any telephone line assigned to the city; and it is unlawful for any person to fail to disconnect or reprogram such device within 12 hours of receipt of written notice from the chief of police to disconnect or reprogram the automatic dialing device. (Ord. 1911 § 2, 2003).

9.13.090 Automatic reset required.

All burglary and robbery alarms maintained on any premises in the city shall have an automatic reset device which will deactivate the alarm after 10 minutes of continuous operation. Any owner failing to install such an automatic reset device as required in this section is guilty of a misdemeanor. (Ord. 1911 § 2, 2003).