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ORDINANCE REGARDING CHAPTER 54, ARTICLE VII, SECTION 330, POLICE ALARM SYSTEMS

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Date Introduced: 2/6/2007
Date Passed:
2/21/2007

Sponsors:
Suffredin
Co-Sponsors:

Summary:

Ordinance to establish a permitting and fine system for burglar alarms in unincorporated Cook County.


Activity Log:

2/6/2007
Referred to Committee on Rules.
2/9/2007
Sec. 54-331 amended to read:

AUTOMATIC DIALING DIGITAL ALARM COMMUNICATOR SYSTEM: A system in which signals are transmitted from a digital alarm communicator transmitter located at a protected premises through the public switched telephone network to a digital alarm communicator receiver at a central alarm station or the Sheriff’s Police Department alarm monitoring system.

AUTOMATIC DIALING TELEPHONE ALARM: A device that automatically dials any of the Sheriff’s Police Department emergency communications center telephone lines, without human activation of the device by the alarm user or employee of the alarm user, upon detection of an illegal entry or other illegal activity at a protected premises.

***

PRERECORDED TELEPHONE MESSAGE: Any prerecorded voice message transmitted or received over a telephone line.

2/9/2007
Sec. 54-332 amended to read:

D. A $100.00 annual fee shall be charged to businesses within unincorporated Cook County to obtain an alarm user permit.

E. The annual fee shall be due on JanuaryJuly 1st of each year or as determined by the Department of Revenue in consultation with the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department.

F. For the period from the effective date of this Ordinance to the date of the first due date for payment of the required annual permit fee subsequent to such effective date, a permit is not required for an Alarm System installed at a Protected Premises prior to the effective date of this Ordinance.

2/9/2007
Sec. 54-338 amended to read:

A. Any automatic dialing telephone alarm or device installed and operated that dials any County telephone line other than the designated Sheriff’s Police Department alarm line is prohibited. No person will install, or cause to be installed, or maintain or cause to be maintained, any automatic dialing telephone alarm that dials any County telephone line. other than the designated Sheriff’s Police Department alarm line. Any such automatic dialing telephone alarm or device that dials any County telephone line other than the designated police alarm line must be reprogrammed to dial the designated Sheriff’s Police Department alarm line, removed or deactivated by the owner thereof at the owner's expense, within thirty (30) days following the effective date hereof.

2/9/2007
Sec. 54-340 amended to read:

A. Any alarm user permittee who has more than one (1) false alarm within a calendar year at a single protected location will be assessed fines according to the following fine schedule:

Second - eighthfifth false alarm: one hundred dollar ($100.00) fine per false alarm

Ninth Sixth- tenth false alarm: two hundred dollar ($200.00) fine per false alarm

More than ten (10) false alarms: three hundred dollar ($300.00) fine per false alarm

B. All fines must be paid to the Department of Revenue within thirty (30) days from the date of the invoice requesting payment of the fine(s).

C. The Sheriff’s Police Department shall notify the alarm user, in writing, of each instance wherein the Sheriff’s Police Department has recorded a false alarm. The alarm user shall have the opportunity within fourteen (14) days from the date of mailing or personal delivery to submit a report or meet with a representative of the Sheriff’s Police for the purpose of showing cause as to whether circumstances exist to warrant voiding the false alarm recordation. The Sheriff’s Police shall review the alarm user's report and/or meet with the alarm user and issue a written finding to the alarm user as to whether or not the false alarm record will be voided. The finding of the Sheriff’s Police Department representative shall be final. The Sheriff’s Police Department shall inform the Department of Revenue of any amount owed by an alarm user.

2/9/2007
Sec. 54-341 (B)(11)amended to read:

11. If the alarm user's request for reinstatement of their alarm permit has been denied by the Sheriff, then the alarm user shall have a right to appeal to the Circuit Court of Cook County. the alarm user may, within fourteen (14) days of receipt of the notice of revocation, appeal this decision by filing a written request for a review meeting with the Director of the Department of Revenue.

2/9/2007
Sec. 54-341 (B) (12) (13) and (14)deleted.
2/9/2007
Amended for immediate effective date.
2/9/2007
Approved as amended by Committee on Finance.

Full Text of Legislation:

BE IT ORDAINED, by the Cook County Board of Commissioners that Chapter 54, Article VII, Section 330 is hereby enacted as follows:

 

 

Sec. 54-330.    Police Alarm Systems

            Purpose and Intent: This Ordinance is adopted for the purpose of regulating and permitting alarm systems to which the Sheriff’s police are expected to respond.

 

Sec. 54-331.    Definitions

ALARM AGENT: Any person employed by, working for, representing, or subcontracted by an alarm company.

ALARM COMPANY: The business by any person, firm, partnership, corporation, association, organization, company, or other entity of selling, leasing, maintaining, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving, or installing any alarm system or causing to be sold, leased, maintained, serviced, repaired, altered, replaced, moved, or installed in or on any building, structure or facility.

ALARM SYSTEM: Any assembly of equipment, mechanical or electrical, arranged to signal the occurrence of any actual or attempted burglary or robbery to which the police are expected to respond.

ALARM USER: A person(s), firm, partnership, corporation, association, organization, company, or other entity in control of a premises where an alarm system is located.

AUDIBLE ALARM: An alarm system or device that generates an audible sound.

AUTOMATIC DIALING DIGITAL ALARM COMMUNICATOR SYSTEM: A system in which signals are transmitted from a digital alarm communicator transmitter located at a protected premises through the public switched telephone network to a digital alarm communicator receiver at a central alarm station or the Sheriff’s Police Department alarm monitoring system.

AUTOMATIC DIALING TELEPHONE ALARM: A device that automatically dials any of the Sheriff’s Police Department emergency communications center telephone lines, without human activation of the device by the alarm user or employee of the alarm user, upon detection of an illegal entry or other illegal activity at a protected premises.

CALENDAR YEAR: A twelve (12) month period beginning January 1 and ending December 31 every year.

CENTRAL ALARM STATION: A system in which the operation of electrical protection circuits and devices are signaled automatically to, recorded at, or maintained and serviced from a place of business having trained alarm operators in attendance at all times.

CHIEF OF POLICE: The Cook County Sheriff’s Chief of Police or his/her designee.

COUNTY:       Cook County

FALSE ALARM: Activation or transmission of any alarm signal caused by human error, mechanical or electronic malfunction, negligence of the alarm user or alarm user's employee, whether or not the exact cause of the alarm activation is determined, or any other activation or transmission of any alarm signal where no actual or attempted burglary or robbery exists. Severe weather, power outages, transmission line malfunctions, acts of God, malicious acts of persons not under the control of the alarm user, or any other cause clearly beyond the control of the alarm user will be considered in determining if an alarm activation was false and whether or not any occurrence, fine, warning or other punitive action will be taken against the alarm user as provided for by this Chapter.

NOTICE: Written notice given by personal service upon the addressee, or, given by the United States Postal Office, postage paid, to the addressee's last known mailing address.

PERMITTEE: Any person, firm, partnership, corporation, association, organization, company, or other entity issued an alarm permit by the County.

PERSON: A natural person, or a firm, partnership, corporation, association, organization, company, or other entity.

PRERECORDED TELEPHONE MESSAGE: Any prerecorded voice message transmitted or received over a telephone line.

PROTECTED PREMISES: Any building, structure, or facility where an alarm system is installed to signal the occurrence of any actual or attempted burglary or robbery to which the police are expected to respond.

 

SHERIFF POLICE DEPARTMENT RESPRESENTATIVE:  Chief of Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department or his/her designee.

Sec. 54-332.    Permit Required

A. It is unlawful for any person, firm, partnership, corporation or other legal entity to use, own or lease an alarm system or to be in control of a premises wherein an alarm system is operated or maintained without having first obtained a permit as provided in this Chapter.

B. It is unlawful for any person, firm, partnership, corporation or other legal entity to use, own or lease an alarm system or to be in control of a premises wherein an alarm system is operated or maintained when a permit therefor has been revoked.

C. A permit must be obtained from the Department of Revenue for each separately addressed operating location.

D. A $100.00 annual fee shall be charged to businesses within unincorporated Cook County to obtain an alarm user permit.

E.   The annual fee shall be due on January July 1st of each year or as determined by the Department of Revenue in consultation with the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department.

F.   For the period from the effective date of this Ordinance to the date of the first due date for payment of the required annual permit fee subsequent to such effective date, a permit is not required  for an Alarm System installed at a Protected Premises prior to the effective date of this Ordinance.

 

Sec. 54-333.    Permit Application

A. Each applicant for a permit to maintain an alarm system shall file a written application with the Department of Revenue stating:

1. The full legal name, address, and telephone number of the applicant.

2. The name, address and telephone number of the premises where the alarm system is located.

3. The type of alarm system at the protected premises.

4. A list of three (3) persons, including their addresses and telephone numbers, who can be contacted and will respond to the premises in the event of an emergency or to reset or deactivate the alarm system, or who could contact the alarm user if the alarm user is not at the protected premises.

5. The name, address and telephone number of the person or company that installed the alarm system.

6. The name, address and telephone number of the person or company that is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the alarm system, if applicable.

B. Incomplete applications shall be returned to the applicant. A permit will not be issued until the completed application is received and approval for the permit has been granted by the Sheriff’s Police Department.

C. An application for an alarm user permit shall be denied if:

1. The applicant has failed to pay false alarm fees required by this Chapter for a different protected premises under the applicant's ownership or control.

2. The applicant has failed to comply with any provisions of this Chapter or other ordinances of the County.

D. The Department of Revenue shall be responsible for processing and issuing alarm user permits.

Sec. 54-334.    Alarm Activation at Premises Where An Alarm User Permit Has Not Been Issued.       

Any alarm user who does not have a valid alarm user permit will be assessed a fine in the amount of three hundred dollars ($300.00) for each notice to the Sheriff’s Police Department of an activation of a burglar or robbery alarm system at the protected premises.

Sec. 54-335.    Updating Alarm User Application.

      It is unlawful for any alarm user to fail or refuse to amend its alarm user permit application within fourteen (14) days after any of the information required and contained therein becomes outdated or inaccurate.

Sec. 54-336.    Transfer of Alarm User Permit Prohibited.

      An alarm user permit cannot be transferred to another premises or to another person.

Sec. 54-337.    Audible Alarm System Requirements.

An alarm system that emits an audible signal that may be heard by persons outside the protected building, structure or facility shall conform to the following requirements:

A. Audible alarm systems shall automatically discontinue emitting an audible sound within thirty (30) minutes after it is activated.

B. With respect to systems in existence prior to the adoption of this Chapter, the owner or operator thereof shall have thirty (30) days from the effective date hereof to effect the necessary modifications to comply with the foregoing requirements.

Sec. 54-338.    Automatic Dialing Telephone Alarm Requirements

A. Any automatic dialing telephone alarm or device installed and operated that dials any County telephone line other than the designated Sheriff’s Police Department alarm line is prohibited. No person will install, or cause to be installed, or maintain or cause to be maintained, any automatic dialing telephone alarm that dials any County telephone line. other than the designated Sheriff’s Police Department alarm line. Any such automatic dialing telephone alarm or device that dials any County telephone line other than the designated police alarm line must be reprogrammed to dial the designated Sheriff’s Police Department alarm line, removed or deactivated by the owner thereof at the owner's expense, within thirty (30) days following the effective date hereof.

B. It is unlawful for any person to allow any automatic alarm, automatic dialing device or automatic alerting device which causes any County telephone line to be dialed, and whose sole purpose is to establish an open telephone line with the specific intent that a conversation between parties not actively speaking into the telephone instrument be heard by the Sheriff’s Police Department in order to directly access emergency services based on this overheard conversation, or lack of conversation.

Sec. 54-339.    False Alarms Prohibited

It is unlawful for any person to knowingly activate an alarm system for the purpose of summoning the Sheriff’s Police Department except if such person knows or suspects that there is an actual or attempted burglary or robbery on the premises.

Sec. 54-340.    False Alarms; Fines; Notifications

A. Any alarm user permittee who has more than one (1) false alarm within a calendar year at a single protected location will be assessed fines according to the following fine schedule:

Second - eighth fifth false alarm: one hundred dollar ($100.00) fine per false alarm

Ninth Sixth- tenth false alarm: two hundred dollar ($200.00) fine per false alarm

More than ten (10) false alarms: three hundred dollar ($300.00) fine per false alarm

B. All fines must be paid to the Department of Revenue within thirty (30) days from the date of the invoice requesting payment of the fine(s).

C. The Sheriff’s Police Department shall notify the alarm user, in writing, of each instance wherein the Sheriff’s Police Department has recorded a false alarm. The alarm user shall have the opportunity within fourteen (14) days from the date of mailing or personal delivery to submit a report or meet with a representative of the Sheriff’s Police for the purpose of showing cause as to whether circumstances exist to warrant voiding the false alarm recordation. The Sheriff’s Police shall review the alarm user's report and/or meet with the alarm user and issue a written finding to the alarm user as to whether or not the false alarm record will be voided. The finding of the Sheriff’s Police Department representative shall be final.  The Sheriff’s Police Department shall inform the Department of Revenue of any amount owed by an alarm user.

Sec. 54-341.    Permit Revocation

A. Any alarmed premises which has ten (10) or more false alarms within a calendar year shall subject the alarm user to permit revocation as provided herein.

B. If County records show ten (10) or more false alarms within a calendar year for any alarmed premises:

The Sheriff’s Police Department representative shall notify the alarm user by certified mail or personal delivery, that their alarm permit shall be revoked thirty (30) days from date of mailing or personal delivery. The alarm user shall have fourteen (14) days from the date of mailing or personal delivery to submit a written report to the Sheriff’s Police Department representative describing actions taken or to be taken to identify and eliminate the cause of the false alarms, and to request that their alarm user's permit be reinstated.

2. If the alarm user submits a report requesting reinstatement of their alarm user's permit, the Sheriff’s Police Department representative shall determine if the action taken or to be taken will substantially reduce the likelihood of false alarms; if he determines that the action will substantially reduce the likelihood of false alarms, he shall notify the alarm user, via certified mail or personal delivery, that the request to reinstate the alarm users permit has been approved.

3. If the alarm user's permit is reinstated, and the Sheriff’s Police Department responds to a subsequent false alarm activation in the same calendar year at the protected premises, the Sheriff’s Police Department representative shall proceed with the permit revocation process again as described in this subsection B. The alarm user shall also be assessed a fine in the amount of three hundred dollars ($300.00) for each subsequent false alarm through the remainder of the calendar year.

4. If the Sheriff’s Police Department representative determines that the action taken, or to be taken, will not substantially reduce the likelihood of false alarms, the request for reinstatement shall be denied. The Sheriff’s Police Department representative shall give notice by certified mail or personal delivery, to the user that the permit will be revoked without further notice.

5. An alarm user whose permit has been revoked by the Sheriff’s Police Department representative may, within fourteen (14) days of receipt of the notice of revocation, appeal this decision by filing a written request for a review meeting with the Sheriff.

6. If a review meeting with the Sheriff is requested, written notice of the time and place of the review meeting will be served on the alarm user by the Sheriff by certified mail or personal delivery within fourteen (14) days of the request by the alarm user.

7. The Sheriff’s Police Department representative and the alarm user shall have the right to present written and oral evidence, subject to the right of cross-examination by both parties.

8. If the Sheriff determines that the user has not taken action which substantially reduces the likelihood of false alarms, the Sheriff shall issue written findings to that effect and an order denying reinstatement of the alarm user's permit.

9. If the Sheriff determines that the alarm user has taken action which substantially reduces the likelihood of false alarms, the Sheriff shall issue written findings to that effect and an order approving reinstatement of the alarm user's permit.

10. If the alarm user's permit is reinstated, pursuant to subsection B9 of this Section, and the Sheriff’s Police Department responds to a subsequent false alarm activation in the same calendar year at the protected premises, the Sheriff’s Police Department representative shall proceed with the permit revocation process again as described in this subsection B. The alarm user shall also be assessed a fine in the amount of three hundred dollars ($300.00) for each subsequent false alarm activation through the remainder of the calendar year.

11. If the alarm user's request for reinstatement of their alarm permit has been denied by the Sheriff, then the alarm user shall have a right to appeal to the Circuit Court of Cook County. the alarm user may, within fourteen (14) days of receipt of the notice of revocation, appeal this decision by filing a written request for a review meeting with the Director of the Department of Revenue.

12. If the Director of the Department of Revenue determines that the user has not taken action which substantially reduces the likelihood of false alarms, the Director of the Department of Revenue shall issue written findings to that effect and an order denying reinstatement of the alarm user's permit. The decision of the Director of the Department of Revenue shall be final.

13. If the Director of the Department of Revenue determines that the alarm user has taken action which substantially reduces the likelihood of false alarms, the Director of the Department of Revenue shall issue written findings to that effect and an order approving reinstatement of the alarm user's permit.

14. If the alarm user's permit is reinstated pursuant to subsection B13 of this Section and the Sheriff’s Police Department responds to a subsequent false alarm activation in the same calendar year at the protected premises, the Sheriff’s Police Department representative shall proceed with the permit revocation process again as described in this subsection B. The alarm user shall also be assessed a fine in the amount of three hundred dollars ($300.00) for each subsequent false alarm activation through the remainder of the calendar year.

C. Any alarm user permittee who fails to pay any fines or charges provided for under this Chapter within thirty (30) days from the date of the invoice requesting payment of same shall have the subject alarm user permit revoked. Any such alarm user permit shall not be reinstated until all the unpaid fines and fees are paid in full.

Sec. 54-342.    Testing Equipment

No person shall conduct or cause to be conducted, any test or demonstration of any alarm system or signaling device that is directly connected with the Sheriff’s Police Department Emergency Communications Center without first obtaining permission from the Sheriff’s Police Department Emergency Communications Center personnel. Permission to test shall not be required when the alarm system or signaling device is connected to an intermediary receiver and is not relayed to the Sheriff’s Police Department Emergency Communications Center.

Sec. 54-343.    No Liability of County

The County assumes no liability for any defects in the operation of any alarm system or signal line system, for any failure or neglect of any person associated with the installation, operation or maintenance of any alarm system, for any failure or neglect of any alarm user, for the transmission or receipt of alarm signals or any failure or neglect to respond upon receipt of an alarm from any source. In the event that the County finds it necessary to revoke an alarm user permit or to otherwise provide for the disconnection of any alarm system, the County shall have no liability for such action. No special duty other than that owed to the general public shall be created by virtue of this Chapter or by virtue of the issuance of an alarm system permit, the direct connection of an alarm system with the Sheriff’s Police Department or as a result of the transmission to or receipt of alarm signals by the Sheriff’s Police Department.

 

This Ordinance shall be in effect upon its date of passage. 


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