8 Alarm Systems (8.605 to 8.695)

8.605 Definitions

As used in this ordinance, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) "Agent" means a person, other than a burglar alarm salesman as defined in section 8.505, who is designated by the principal to be responsible for premises protected by an alarm system during the principal's absence or unavailability. The term "agent" does not include any person who receives any salary, fee, bonus or other valuable consideration for performing the duties of an agent unless such person is a bona fide employee of the principal having substantial duties paramount and not directly related to his capacity as agent.

(2) "Alarm system" means a device or system of interconnected devices, including hardware and related appurtenances, designed to give warning of activities indicative of felony and criminal conduct.

(3) "Annunciator" means that part of an alarm system, other than an automatic dialer, which communicates the fact that the system has been triggered.

(4) "Audible annunciator" means an annunciator which gives alarm by means of a bell, siren, buzzer or similar sound producing device mounted at some location other than wholly within a building; or which, when activated, is clearly audible at a distance of fifty feet or more outside of any building in which it is mounted.

(5) "Automatic dialer" means a device which is programmed to select a telephone number and deliver a warning message or signal over standard telephone lines using telephone voice communication equipment.

(6) "Chief" means the chief of police of the City of Medford, or a police officer under his jurisdiction designated by him to exercise any power or duty conferred under this chapter.

(7) "Department" means the City of Medford Police Department.

(8) "City of Medford telephone line" means a telephone line which rings or terminates on the premises of the City of Medford.

(9) "False alarm" means any activation of an alarm system upon or following which communication is made to the department that an alarm has been triggered, except alarms resulting from one of the following causes:

(a) Criminal activity or unauthorized entry,
 
(b) Natural or unnatural disaster, electrical service interruption, or telephone line malfunction not caused by the principal or an agent of the principal. If the alarm, when communicated to the department before an officer is dispatched to investigate is clearly identified to the department as resulting from authorized entry, authorized system test, or other non-criminal cause, it shall not be considered as a false alarm. If police units, responding to an alarm and checking the protected premises according to standard department operating procedure, do not discover any evidence of unauthorized entry or criminal activity, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the alarm is false. Entries in the police department "Daily Bulletin" shall be prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein with regard to alarms and responses.

(10) "On-premise annunciator" means an annunciator which is designed to give warning only to a person or persons on the protected premises, and which is neither an "audible" or "remote" annunciator as those terms are defined in this section.

(11) "Principal" means the person, firm or corporation whose premises are protected by an alarm system. In the event that a building having more than one tenant is protected by a single alarm system, the term "principal" means the building owner.

(12) "Protected premises" means all of that contiguous area, including buildings, protected by a single alarm system and under common ownership and use.

(13) "Remote annunciator" means an annunciator located at a terminal on the premises of a burglar alarm company, or other location not a part of the protected premises.

(14) "Sensor" means that part of an alarm system which is designed to detect the happenings of some event or existence of some condition indicative of criminal activity or unauthorized entry.

(15) "Visual annunciator" means an annunciator installed entirely on the protected premises and which gives inaudible warning by means of a flashing light or other visible signal.

(16) "This ordinance" shall mean sections 8.605 through 8.695 of this code.

(17) "Fiscal year" means July 1 through June 30.

[Amd. Sec. 1, Ord. No. 7961, Sept. 21, 1995.]

8.610 Classification of Alarm Systems

Alarm systems shall be classified as follows:

(1) A Class I alarm system is one which incorporates a remote annunciator installed on the premises of the department or the Communications Center.

(2) A Class II alarm system is one which incorporates an automatic dialer programmed to select a City of Medford telephone line.

(3) A Class III alarm system is one which incorporates a remote annunciator installed at a place other than on the premises of the city, and which does not incorporate an automatic dialer.

(4) A Class IV alarm system is one which incorporates an automatic dialer not programmed to select a City of Medford telephone line.

(5) A Class V alarm system is one in which the only annunciator is an audible annunciator located at the protected premises, and which does not incorporate an automatic dialer.

(6) Exempt alarm systems are:
 
(a) Those which incorporate only an on-premise annunciator, a visual annunciator, or any combination thereof;
 
(b) alarm systems owned, maintained and monitored by any government law enforcement agency to protect their premises; and
 
(c) alarm systems protecting property of the City of Medford.

8.615 Class I Alarm Systems

(1) Class I alarm systems are prohibited.

8.620 Class II Alarm Systems

(1) Class II alarm systems are prohibited

8.625 Class III Alarm Systems

(1) Any agent receiving an indication of an alarm activation shall attempt to verify the alarm prior to reporting it to the police by either
 
(1) telephoning the premises where the alarm activation is located,
 
(2) monitoring the location by audio devices or
 
(3) monitoring the location by video devices.
 
(a) Exceptions to this section are holdup and panic alarms.
 
(b) Failure to attempt to verify an alarm prior to notifying the police is a violation punishable by a fine of up to $250.
 
(2) Any agent receiving an indication of an alarm activation shall notify a responsible person having access to the protected premises.

(3) Any person reporting to the police on any alarm from a Class III alarm system shall give the following information:
 
(a) The alarm system permit number, and principal or business name;
 
(b) The type of premises (warehouse, residence, etc.) and the name, if any, by which the premises are known;
 
(c) The address of the protected premises, which shall be repeated a second time at the end of the message;
 
(d) The name and telephone number of some responsible person having access to the protected premises; and
 
(e) The type of criminal activity indicated, e.g., burglary in progress, robbery, etc.


(4) If the Class III alarm system incorporates an audible annunciator, it shall be subject to the requirements specified in section 8.635.

[Amd. Sec. 2, Ord. No. 7961, Sept. 21, 1995; Amd. Sec. 5, Ord. No. 2000-55, April 6, 2000.]

8.630 Class IV Alarm Systems

(1) Any person reporting to the police on any alarm from a Class IV alarm system shall first verify the alarm as specified in 8.625 (1), and give the information specified in section 8.625(2 ).

(2) No Class IV alarm system shall be programmed to select any telephone line the user of which has not previously given consent to such programming.

(3) If the Class IV alarm system incorporates an audible annunciator, it shall be subject to the requirements specified in section 8.635.

[Amd. Sec. 3, Ord. No. 7961, Sept. 21, 1995.]

8.635 Class V Alarm Systems

(1) Each Class V alarm system shall be so programmed that each audible annunciator will automatically silence within fifteen minutes after being activated, and will not sound again unless a new act or circumstance triggers a sensor.

(2) No test of a Class V alarm system shall be conducted between the hours of 8:00 p.m. of any day and 7:00 a.m. of the following day.

(3) The application for a Class V alarm system permit shall list the name and phone number of at least one responsible person (other than the principal or a member of his household) having access to the premises who may be notified and assist the police in the event the alarm is activated. The principal shall immediately notify the director of communications of any changes in this information.

(4) The director of communications may, by written notice, require the posting of the information required by subsection (3) on the protected premises.

8.640 Alarm System Requirements, Generally

(1) No alarm system shall be installed, used or maintained in violation of any of the requirements of this code, or of any applicable statute, law or administrative regulation of the United States of America, the State of Oregon, or any administrative rule-making body thereof.

(2) The alarm company shall be responsible for training the permit holder on the use of the system and causes of false alarms. The alarm company shall also stress the effect false alarms have on the criminal justice system and the risks to police of responding to alarms. This training can be accomplished by written material, pre-recorded video information, or other means that have been approved by the Chief of Police

(3) The holder of an alarm system permit shall be responsible for training and re-training all employees, family members and other persons who may make regular use of the protected premises and who may, in the normal course of their activities, be in a position to accidentally trigger a sensor. Such training shall include procedures and practices to avoid accidental alarms, and steps to follow in the event the system is accidentally triggered.

(4) The holder of an alarm system permit shall, at all times, be responsible for the proper maintenance and repair of the system, and for the repair or replacement of any component, method of installment, design feature or like condition which may give rise to a false alarm.

[Amd. Sec. 4, Ord. No. 7961, Sept. 21, 1995; Amd. Sec. 1, Ord. No. 8282, Feb. 6, 1997.]

8.645 Permits Required

(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to use or maintain any alarm system without a current valid permit therefor.

(2) City police may refuse to respond to an alarm from a system without a permit.

(3) No permit shall be required for an exempt alarm system as defined in section 8.610, and the provisions of this chapter shall not apply to such systems.

(4) Violation of this provision shall be a violation. Each day during which the violation is maintained or continued shall be deemed a separate violation.

(Amd. Sec. 5, Ord. No. 2000-55, April 6, 2000.]

8.650 Permit Application

Each application for an alarm system permit shall be made on a form prescribed by the chief, and shall contain the following information:

(1) The name, address and telephone number of the principal of the protected premises.

(2) The type of premises (home, office, variety store, etc.) and any business name by which the premises is known.

(3) The address of the protected premises, including, if it is in a residential, commercial or industrial complex (office building, apartment house, shopping center, etc.), any name by which the complex is commonly known.

(4) The name, address, and telephone number of the alarm company.

(5) The application shall be accompanied by the fee prescribed under section 8.660.

[Amd. Sec. 1, Ord. No. 2008-48, March 6, 2008.]


8.655 Issuance of Permit

Upon receipt by the finance director of the permit application and fee, the chief shall undertake whatever investigation he deems necessary. If it appears to the chief that the proposed system will comply with the provisions of this chapter, he shall so notify the finance director who shall issue to the applicant a permit bearing an identifying number, specifying the class of alarm system for which it is issued, and setting forth the expiration date of the permit. The City shall not, by the issuance of any alarm system permit, be obligated to respond or accord any priority to an alarm from such system.

8.660 Permit Fees

The fees for alarm system permits and renewals shall be as follows:

Class III: $32.00

Class IV: $32.00

Class V: $32.00

[Amd. Sec. 1, Ord. No. 6952, Aug. 1, 1991; Amd. Sec. 11, Ord. No. 2000-72, April 20, 2000; Amd. Sec. 1, Ord. No. 2005-250, Nov. 3, 2005; Amd. Sec. 12, Ord. No. 2007-147, July 5, 2007.]


8.665 Term of Permit and Renewal

(1) Class III, IV, and V alarm system permits shall expire on the first day of the anniversary month following the year of issue.

(2) An alarm system permit may be transferred to a new location upon completion of the alarm permit address change form and its submission to the finance director.  A person who has paid the permit fee for the year and terminates their alarm permit during that year shall be entitled to claim a prorata refund for the quarters beginning after the last day at original location. 

(3) Renewal permits shall be dated the first day of the anniversary month each year. The renewal permit will not be issued until the fee is paid and a late charge of $15 will be assessed on all permit holders who do not pay the renewal fee prior to expiration of their existing permits. The renewal application shall contain the principal's signed statement that there have been no changes in principal, protected premises or class of alarm system. A suspended permit may be renewed only as provided in section 8.690.

[Amd. Sec. 2, Ord. No. 6952, Aug. 1, 1991; Amd. Ord. No. 2000-197, Oct. 5, 2000; Amd. Sec. 2, Ord. No. 2008-48, March 6, 2008.]


8.670 Inspection of Alarm Systems

Prior to issuing an alarm system permit, and at any time thereafter during the term thereof, the chief may inspect any alarm system for which a permit is required. Such inspection shall be for the purpose of ascertaining that information furnished by the applicant or permittee is correct, and that the system is maintained in conformance with the provisions of this chapter.

8.675 Current Information Required

Within ten days following any change of circumstances which renders obsolete any of the information submitted pursuant to section 8.650, the permittee shall file an amendment to his application setting forth the currently accurate information. No additional fee shall be required.

[Amd. Sec. 3, Ord. No. 2008-48, March 6, 2008.]


8.680 False Alarm Fees

(1) As a condition of any alarm system permit issued under the provisions of this chapter, the permittee shall pay to the City of Medford within 30 days of invoice, for false alarms generated by the permittee's alarm system a fee according to the following schedule:

(a) First false alarm - No charge

(b) Subsequent false alarms within the next 12 months:

Second false alarm $53.00

Third false alarm $106.00

Fourth false alarm $212.00

Fifth or more false alarm $424.00

(2) Any person who has been assessed a false alarm fee may appeal such charge to the chief by giving written notice to the chief within 30 days of invoice assessing such charge. Upon receipt of the appeal notice, the chief shall appoint one or more of his supervisory officers to investigate the circumstances of the alarms upon which the appeal is based. The investigator shall notify the appellant of a time certain, not less than two weeks nor more than four weeks following the date upon which the appeal was filed, at or before such time certain the appellant shall file in writing with the investigator whatever factual information he deems relevant in support of his appeal. If the investigator determines the charge to have been made in error he shall order the invoice canceled and notify the appellant and the finance director of such determination, which shall be final. If the investigator determines the charge to be proper, he shall make a full report of his findings and file the same, together with any information filed with him by the appellant, with the chief. The investigator's determination shall be filed with the chief within 45 days of the time on which the appeal was filed. The chief shall make a final determination on the disputed charges and mail notice thereof to the appellant within 60 days after the filing of the appeal. If the chief determines that any of the disputed charges are valid, the permit holder shall pay such charges within 30 days after notice of the final decision of the chief is mailed to him. Such decision shall be final and not subject to further appeal, notwithstanding the provisions of any other ordinance governing appeals.

[Amd . Sec. 1, Ord. No. 5958, Aug. 20, 1987; Amd. Sec. 5, Ord. No. 7961, Sept. 21, 1995; Amd. Sec. 2, Ord. No. 8282, Feb. 6, 1997; Amd. Sec. 15, Ord. No. 2003-178, June 19, 2003; Amd. Sec. 15, Ord. No. 2005-174, Aug. 18, 2005.  Fee effective Oct. 1, 2005; Amd. Sec. 2, Ord. No. 2005-250, Nov. 3, 2005; Amd. Sec. 13, Ord. No. 2007-147, July 5, 2007; Amd. Sec. 4, Ord. No. 2008-48, March 6, 2008.]


8.685 Suspension of Permits

(1) The following shall be grounds for suspension by the chief of any permit issued pursuant to this chapter:

(a) Any false or incomplete statement made on the permit application.

(b) Programming of an automatic dialer to select any City of Medford telephone line.

(c) Maintenance, installation or use of the alarm system in violation of any applicable law, ordinance or regulation, including the requirements of this chapter.

(d) Failure to provide current information as required in sections 8.625, 8.630, 8.635 and 8.675.

(e) Testing or deliberate activation of a Class II alarm system other than as authorized in section 8.620.

(2) If the chief determines that there is cause for the suspension of a permit, he shall mail a notice of suspension to the principal, stating that the suspension will be effective thirty days after the date of mailing, unless a notice of appeal is filed with the Finance Director on or before the effective date.

(3) Persons operating an alarm system covered by this chapter after the alarm permit has been suspended shall be in violation of a violation punishable by a fine of up to $250.

[Amd. Sec. 2, Ord. No. 5958, Aug. 20, 1987; Amd. Sec. 6, Ord. No. 7961, Sept. 21, 1995; Amd. Sec. 3, Ord. No. 8282, Feb. 6, 1997; Amd. Sec. 5, Ord. No. 2000-55, April 6, 2000; Amd. Sec. 5, Ord. No. 2008-48, March 6, 2008.]


8.688 Appeals of Suspension Orders

(1) Any person who is sent a notice of suspension under section 8.685 may appeal the suspension action to the Finance Director by giving written notice to the Finance Director within 30 days after mailing of the notice of suspension. The filing of a Notice of Appeal shall stay the suspension until disposition of the appeal.

(2) If a timely notice of appeal is received, the Finance Director shall notify the permit holder of the time and place of the appeal hearing and shall make a final decision after considering all the evidence presented. Notwithstanding any other provision of the Code of Medford, the decision of the Finance Director to suspend an alarm permit shall be final and may not be appealed to the City Council.

[Amd. Sec. 4, Ord. No. 8282, Feb. 6, 1997.]

8.690 Reinstatement After Suspension

A principal whose alarm system permit has been suspended may have the permit reinstated upon payment of a reinstatement fee of $50.00.

[Amd. Sec. 5, Ord. No. 8282, Feb. 6, 1997; Amd. Sec. 16, Ord. No. 2003-178, June 19, 2003; Amd. Sec. 16, Ord. No. 2005-174, Aug. 18, 2005.  Fee effective Oct. 1, 2005; Amd. Sec. 3, Ord. No. 2005-250, Nov. 3, 2005; Amd. Sec. 6, Ord. No. 2008-48, March 6, 2008.]


8.691 Repealed Sec. 7, Ord. No. 2008-48, March 6, 2008

 


8.692 Notices

(1) Notice or billing from the city to any permit 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 permit holder at the address shown in the city's permit records. A certificate signed by the person who mailed the notice shall be prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein with respect to such notice.

(2) Notice to the city or payment under this ordinance shall be effective when received at the appropriate city office.

8.695 Fire Alarms

(a) Except for fire alarms protecting property of the City of Medford, fire alarm annunciators shall not be located on city premises and the city shall not monitor such alarms.

(b) No person shall install, activate, maintain, or use a fire or smoke alarm which incorporates or activates an automatic dialer programmed to select a telephone line which rings or terminates on the premises of the City of Medford. Violation of this subsection (b) shall be a violation.

[Amd. Sec. 5, Ord. No. 2000-55, April 6, 2000.]