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1 ~ <., ~ ~ APPROVE!) BY ORANGE COUNTY BOARO OE COUNTY. COMMISSIONERS SEP l8 Z Z NP}C ft~ EFFECTIVE DATE ORDINANCE NO ,JAN~~~~l0.=..;13 ;;:;_, r\n ORDINANCE OF ORANGE COUNTY, FLORIDA, PERTAINING TO FALSE SECURITY ALARMS; AMENDING CHAPTER 28, "NUISANCES," TO CREATE ARTICLE V, ENTITLED "FALSE SECURITY ALARMS" PROVIDING FOR A STATEMENT OF INTENT AND PURPOSE; PROVIDING FOR DEFINITIONS; PROVIDING FOR APPROVED ALARM SYSTEMS AND BUSINESSES; PROVIDING FOR FALSE ALARM WARNING NOTICE; PROVIDING FOR SERVICE FEES, REGISTRATION AND. REINSTATEMENT FEES BY RESOLUTION; PROVIDING FOR FIRE AND SHERIFF DUAL RESPONSE; PROVIDING FOR SUSPENSION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT RESPONSE; PROVIDING FOR ORDER OF DISCONTINUED SERVICE; PROVIDING FOR REGISTRATION OF ALARM SYSTEMS AND BUSINESSES; REQUIRING SHERIFF'S APPROVAL OF AUTOMATIC TELEPHONE DIGITAL ALARM COMMUNICATOR SYSTEM; PROVIDING FOR APPEALS AND REVIEWS; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. WHEREAS, the Orange County Sheriffs Office ("Sheriff' or "Sheriffs Office") has advised the Orange County Board of County Commissioners ("Board") that the Sheriff receives an excessive number of False Security Alarms ("False Alarms" or "False Alarm"); and WHEREAS, research indicates the Sheriff received over 130,000 calls for service between 2008 and 2010 relating to security alarms; and WHEREAS, approximately 99.5% of said alarm calls were False Alarms, and WHEREAS, False Alarms from the beginning of 2008 through the end of 2010 have cost the Sheriff over $3.8 million dollars; and WHEREAS, deputies' responses to False Alarm calls delay their ability to respond to other legitimate calls for service and create a drain on available resources; and WHEREAS, the majority of agencies and jurisdictions in the Central Florida region have False Alarm ordinances in place to reduce the number of False Alarms within their jurisdictions; and 1

2 WHEREAS, jurisdictions with similar ordinances have seen a significant reduction in False Alarm calls received by their law enforcement agencies; and WHEREAS, the purpose and focus of this ordinance is to reduce False Alarms and improve operational efficiency. BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF ORANGE COUNTY, FLORIDA: Section 1. Recitals. The foregoing "WHEREAS" clauses are hereby ratified and confirmed as being true and correct and are hereby made a specific part of this Ordinance upon adoption hereof. Section 2. Article V, Chapter 28, "Nuisances," Orange County Code of Ordinances, consisting of sections through , is hereby created to read as follows: FALSE SECURITY ALARMS Sec Short Title. This article may be cited as the "Orange County False Security Alarm Ordinance." Sec Intent. The intent of this article is to reduce the number of False Security Alarms received by the Sheriff and their impact on calls for service within unincorporated Orange County. This article shall only be effective in unincorporated Orange County. Sec Purpose. (1) The purpose of this article is to encourage security Alarm Users and Alarm Businesses (including, but not limited to, sales, installation, and/or monitoring) to maintain the operational reliability and proper use of Alarm Systems so as to limit unnecessary law enforcement responses to False Alarms. (2) This article governs all Alarm Systems intended to summon a law enforcement response, and requires registration, establishes fees, provides fines for violations, and establishes a 2

3 system of administration and collection procedures. Sec Definitions. (1) Alarm Administrator means the representative designated by the Sheriff to administer this article and control and maintain records involving False Alarms. (2) Alarm Businesses are businesses that sell, install, maintain, repair and/or monitor Alarm Systems. (3) Alarm Business Registration/Approved Business means authorization granted by the Sheriff to an Alarm Business to operate a business that sells, installs, repairs and/or monitors Alarm Systems. (4) Alarm Initiating Device means a device that is designed to detect security breaches, including but not limited to, holdups, burglaries, trespasses, robberies, intrusions or panic alerts, and automatically or manually notify an Alarm Business of the security breach and/or emit an audible alarm. (5) Alarm Registration means authorization granted by the Sheriff to an Alarm User to operate an Alarm System. (6) Alarm Site means a single fixed premise or location, or a multi-tenant location, served by an Alarm System or systems. Each unit, if served by a separate Alarm System in a multi-unit building or complex, shall be considered a separate Alarm Site. (7) Alarm System means any mechanical, electrical, or radio controlled device or system designed to emit, transmit or relay a signal or message to summon law enforcement about a possible crime or other public safety concern including, but not limited to, Local Alarms. It may be triggered by a mechanism responding to a stimulus characteristic of unauthorized intrusion or activated intentionally by a person. Alarm Systems installed after the effective date of this ordinance must meet the minimum requirements of the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) and the Underwriters Laboratory (UL). "Alarm System" does not include: (a) An alarm installed on a vehicle, unless the vehicle is permanently located at a site; or 3

4 (b) An alarm designed to alert only the inhabitants of an Alarm Site, and which does not constitute a Local Alarm. (8) Alarm User includes, but is not limited to, any person, corporation, governmental entity, private or public facility or any other entity that has contracted with an Alarm Business for monitoring, repairing, installing, or maintaining an Alarm System, or that owns or operates an Alarm System that is not monitored, maintained, or repaired under contract. (9) BASA/F ASA is a certification mandated to Burglar Alarm System Agents and Fire Alarm Systems Agents by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations. (10) Excessive False Alarms shall mean all False Security Alarms in excess of twelve (12) within a twelve (12) month period. (11) False Security Alarm(s) (False Alarm[s}), as used herein, means the activation of an Alarm System signal or message eliciting notification to and/or response by the Sheriff when there is no evidence of a crime, emergency or other activity that warrants a call for immediate law enforcement assistance. This may include, but is not limited to, an alarm discovered by a deputy before notification from a monitor or from a Local Alarm that is not monitored. It is a rebuttable presumption that an alarm is false if responding Sheriffs personnel do not discover any evidence of intrusion or other criminal activity after following normal Sheriffs Office operating procedures in investigating the incident. An alarm is not false if the Alarm User proves that: (a) An individual activated the alarm based upon a reasonable belief that an emergency requiring a law enforcement response existed; or (b) The Alarm System was activated by severe weather conditions, such as hurricanes, tornados or resulted from a direct lightening strike, telephone line trouble, or external power failure in excess of four (4) hours. (12) Intrusion means unauthorized access of premises, including, but not limited to, robbery, burglary, or other criminal 4

5 activity. (13) Local Alarm means an Alarm System that emits a signal at an Alarm Site that is audible or visible from the exterior of the structure. (14) Nonresidential Premises shall mean any building, structure, enclosed area or combination thereof, used for commercial, non-profit, or nonresidential purposes and served by an Alarm System. (15) Notice of Completion means a document from the Alarm Business describing the Alarm System (e.g., features, operating instructions, service) and verifying the system was thoroughly explained and demonstrated to the Alarm User upon completion of installation. (16) Owner shall mean any person or legal entity who owns the Alarm Site in which an Alarm System is installed or the person or persons who lease, operate, occupy or manage the Alarm Site if such person or persons are responsible for the installation, maintenance or continued use of such Alarm System. (17) Preventive Maintenance shall include all service, equipment and repair work needed to ensure the Alarm System is properly maintained to prevent False Alarms. (18) Registration Fee is a fee required to be paid by an Alarm Business and payable to the Orange County Board of County Commissioners, upon registration of their business as required herein. (19) Reinstatement Fee is the fee required to be paid by an Alarm User and payable to the Orange County Board of County Commissioners when the Alarm Administrator has rescinded an Order of Discontinued Service as provided for herein. (20) Report of Service/Repair means appropriate documentation in a format acceptable to the Alarm Administrator, or designee, that verifies proper repairs or maintenance have been performed on the Alarm System by a qualified alarm technician. (21) Residential Premises shall mean any building, structure or combination thereof, serving as a dwelling unit (e.g., single family house, apartment complex). 5

6 (22) Responder means an individual capable of reaching the Alarm Site within thirty (30) minutes of being contacted by the Sheriffs Office, who is authorized to act as an agent of the Alarm User to assist law enforcement at the Alarm Site. (23) Service Fees means the assessment of monetary charges payable to the Orange County Board of County Commissioners, authorized pursuant to this article, to defray the expenses of responding to False Alarms by the Sheriffs Office. (24) False Alarm Warning Notice means a notification provided by the Sheriffs Office to the Owner or Alarm User that a False Alarm occurred at the Alarm Site. Sec Approved Alarm Systems and Businesses. (1) All Alarm Systems installed after the effective date of this ordinance must meet the minimum requirements of the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) and the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) as listed for that purpose. (2) All Alarm Businesses installing Alarm Systems after the effective date of this ordinance shall be properly licensed by the State of Florida registered with the Sheriffs Office and have a valid and current business tax receipt issued by the Orange County Tax Collector. (3) Approved Alarm Businesses shall provide complete address information when requesting law enforcement response to an Alarm Site. An approved Alarm Business that either reports an incomplete address for the Alarm Site in question (e.g. apartment complex address, but no unit number; office building, but no suite number), or whose technicians are responsible for generating False Alarms, which result in a request for law enforcement response, shall be responsible for paying any Service Fees incurred by the property Owner or Alarm User stemming from the call for law enforcement service. Failure of an approved Alarm Business to rectify incomplete address issues, or that repeatedly requests law enforcement response to incomplete addresses or due to technician error, may face revocation of the Alarm Business Registration. Sec False Alarm Warning Notice; Service Fee. (1) The Sheriffs Office shall issue a False Alarm 6

7 Warning Notice after responding to a False Alarm. (2) A Service Fee for False Alarms shall be established by Resolution of the Board of County Commissioners. (3) Each False Alarm in excess of twelve (12) within a twelve (12) month period may result in an Order of Discontinued Service pursuant to Section (4) No Service Fee shall be charged for the first three (3) False Alarms occurring within a twelve (12) month period, calculated from the date ofthe first such alarm. Additionally, no Service Fee shall be assessed if the Sheriffs Office subsequently determines the False Alarm was: (a) Caused by severe weather such as hurricanes, tornados, or a direct lightening strike when there is clear evidence of physical damage to, or interference with, the Alarm System; (b) Caused by the intermittent disruption of telephone circuits beyond the control of the Alarm Site Owner; (c) Caused by electrical power disruption or failure in excess of four ( 4) hours beyond the control of the Alarm Site Owner; (d) At a location where the Sheriffs Office has installed an alarm as part of an ongoing criminal investigation. (5) The Alarm Administrator may waive a Service Fee for a False Alarm if the Owner or Alarm User has the Alarm System inspected and/or serviced within fifteen (15) working days of the False Alarm and provides written documentation within thirty (30) calendar days to the Sheriffs Office certifying that the system malfunctioned and is now in working order. (6) The Alarm Administrator may only waive a Service Fee once within a twelve-month period as provided for in section subsection (5). The Service Fee shall not be waived if the Owner, Alarm User or Responder fails to timely respond to the Alarm Site when requested by the Sheriffs Office. (7) All False Alarm Service Fees are due and payable within thirty calendar (30) days from date of invoice. If the False 7

8 Alarm Service Fees are not paid as required by this article, late Service Fees may be assessed and/or the matter may be referred to a collection agency or the County Attorney's Office for appropriate legal action. Sec Dual Response; Service Fee. If the False Alarm elicits a response from both the Sheriffs Office and the Orange County Fire Rescue Department, and such response would cause a service fee to be assessed under either the False Fire Alarm ordinance or this ordinance, only the service fee assessed by the Orange County Fire Rescue Department shall apply. Sec Suspension of Law Enforcement Response. (1) Except as otherwise required by law, the Alarm Administrator or on-duty Watch Commander may authorize foregoing or suspending law enforcement response to an Alarm Site meeting the following criteria: (a) Alarms emanating from vacant structures that have active Alarm Systems. (b) Repeated False Alarms within a twenty-four (24) hour period from an Alarm Site when the Owner, Alarm User or Responder is unavailable to reset or turn off the alarm. (c) When the Sheriff or his designee determines that there is an operational need to suspend response to an Alarm Site. Sec Fee. Order of Discontinued Service; Reinstatement (1) Except for protection of Alarm Site required by law to support an Alarm System, the Alarm Administrator is authorized to issue an Order of Discontinued Service, by written notice to the Owner, for any of the following: (a) Failure of the Owner or Alarm User to meet all requirements or pay any fee provided for in this article within thirty calendar (30) days of the initiation of such requirements or the assessment of such fee; or 8

9 (b) Excessive False Alarms (more than twelve (12) False Alarms within a twelve (12) month period) (2) The written Order of Discontinued Service shall be mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the Owner and shall specify the date on which the Sheriffs Office will no longer respond to calls generated by an Alarm Initiating Device. The Order shall go into effect at least fifteen (15) days following the date of the written Order of Discontinued Service. (3) The Sheriffs Office shall not be obligated to respond to any notification of alarm or any alarm signal received from any Alarm System for which the Owner has received an Order for Discontinued Service. (4) Any Order of Discontinued Service may be rescinded by the Alarm Administrator upon finding the Owner of the Alarm Site has taken corrective action to remedy the cause of the False Alarms. The Owner shall provide proof of the repairs made and shall have the burden of showing the corrective action taken was sufficient to remedy the False alarms. The Alarm Administrator shall review the documentation showing the repair or remediation of the Alarm System and may inspect and test the Alarm System prior to rescinding the Order of Discontinued Service. (5) The Owner shall pay a Reinstatement Fee, which is established by Resolution of the Board of County Commissioners, payable to the Orange County Board of County Commissioners. The Alarm Administrator shall not rescind an Order of Discontinued Service if the Owner has failed to pay any fees charged the Owner pursuant to this article. (6) The Sheriffs Office shall, in accordance with Sheriffs Office procedures, respond to an Alarm Site where an Order of Discontinued Service has been issued, when the call for service is generated by a person reporting criminal activity at the Alarm Site or seeking emergency assistance. Sec Registration of Alarm System. (1) All Alarm Users shall register, prior to the activation of the system, any Alarm System installed after the effective date of this ordinance. 9

10 (2) Owners of Alarm Systems in existence prior to the effective date of this ordinance shall not be required to register unless they have a False Alarm. After such False Alarm, the Owner shall be required to register the Alarm System with the Sheriffs Office. Owners of Alarm Systems in existence prior to the effective date of this ordinance, who voluntarily register their systems prior to a False Alarm, shall be exempted from paying the Service Fee for their first billable False Alarm. (3) The Owner shall be required to re-register whenever there is a change in the Alarm Business responsible for maintaining, servicing, and/or monitoring the Alarm System or a change in the ownership of the Alarm Site or Alarm System. (4) Registration shall not be transferable from one Alarm Site to another or from one Owner to another. (5) Every Alarm Business shall provide a Notice of Completion notifying the Alarm Administrator of the existence of an Alarm System prior to the Alarm System being put into operation. It shall be the responsibility of the installing Alarm Business to provide the Owner with notice of the existence of this article, a registration form, and the manufacturer's instructions. (6) The Registration application must include: (a) the address of the Alarm Site, mailing address (if different from the address of the Alarm Site), business, home and cell phone telephone numbers of the Owner, lessee, operator, manager or person in possession of the Alarm Site; (b) the name, address and telephone number of a minimum of two (2) Responders who can be notified by the Sheriffs Office in the event of the activation of the Alarm System, who shall be capable of responding to the Alarm Site within thirty (30) minutes and who are authorized to act as the Alarm User's agent to assist law enforcement. The Responder shall be able to: 1. enter the Alarm Site to determine if a security breach has occurred, n. assist in resetting or deactivating the Alarm System; n1. allow law enforcement to enter the Alarm Site to ensure it is safe, and 10

11 1v. act on behalf of the Owner to secure the Alarm Site or take other necessary actions to assist law enforcement. (c) the name, address and telephone number of the Alarm Business contracted to service the Alarm System and proof of proper state licensing/registration with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation as required by law. Proof of proper state licensing may be a valid state licensing number; (d) the date the registration is signed or the Alarm System is placed in operation for any reason; (e) information describing any dangerous or hazardous materials in or on the Alarm Site including, but not limited to, chemicals, explosive or combustible materials, animals or any other conditions that could create a danger for responding law enforcement personnel. (f) Sheriff's Office. other information as required by the (7) When any of the information required to be provided in Sec for registration has changed, it shall be reported to the Alarm Administrator by the Owner within fifteen ( 15) days of the Owner becoming aware of such change. (8) The Owner shall complete and deliver the Alarm Registration in the required form to the Alarm Administrator before the Alarm System is activated or placed into service. The Alarm Business, when authorized by the Owner, may assist the Owner in accomplishing this submission of the Alarm System registration to the Alarm Administrator. Sec Registration of Alarm Businesses. (1) All Alarm Businesses providing alarm services within unincorporated Orange County, including, but not limited to, sales, installation, repair and/or monitoring shall possess current state and local licenses and/or certificates including BASA/F ASA as required by Chapter 489, Part II, Florida Statutes, to operate an Alarm Business. 11

12 (2) All Alarm Businesses described above shall register with the Alarm Administrator of the Sheriffs Office and pay a Registration Fee established by Resolution of the Board of County Commissioners which shall be renewable every other year on the anniversary of its initial registration. Sec Automatic Telephone Digital Alarm Communicator System. (1) It shall be unlawful for any person to install, maintain, operate or use any automatic telephone digital alarm communicator system unless it has been approved in advance and in writing by the Sheriff or his designee. Sec Appeals and Reviews. (1) The Alarm Administrator shall review any disputes related to Service Fees or Orders of Discontinued Service. The Owner or Alarm User may appeal the Alarm Administrator's decision to the Sheriffs Director of Emergency Communications. If the Owner's appeal is denied by the Director of Emergency Communications, the Owner may appeal that decision to the Major, or rank equivalent, to whom the Director reports. The decision of the Major shall be final. Section 3. Effective Date. This ordinance shall become effective January 1, ADOPTED THIS DAY OF -~S=EP=--=- 1 -=8:...:::!2=012 =----' ORANGE COUNTY, FLORIDA By: Board of County Commissioners ATTEST: Martha 0. Haynie, County Comptroller As Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners y:>t~~ ~ Depuy Clerk' s:\wga llowa\ordres\false security alarm ordinance - final clean.doc 12

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