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Local ordinance on false alarms in effect today

Local ordinance on false alarms in effect today
Today marks the beginning of enforcement of a new Union City ordinance regarding false alarms.
The Union City Council had agreed earlier this year that the city’s police and fire departments were receiving too many false alarms and that something should be done to curtail them.
As a result, the council passed an ordinance that would assess a fee for false alarms. A fee schedule was approved in February and it was followed for a brief period of time, but several residents questioned the ordinance and the city decided to review its new policy.
City officials announced at an August city council meeting that the false alarm fees established by city ordinance would be implemented and enforced starting Oct. 15. City manager Don Thornton indicated at that meeting that he feels the ordinance is a good one and is written in a way that will benefit the city.
Any false alarms after today will fall under the new ordinance.
According to the ordinance, a false alarm means the activation of an alarm system resulting in a response by law enforcement, fire prevention or emergency personnel of the City of Union City to the building, place or premises on which the alarm system is located when such responding personnel finds no evidence of an unauthorized entry, criminal act or attempted criminal act, fire or other emergency situation. An alarm dispatch request which is canceled by the alarm business or the alarm user prior to the time the responding personnel arrive at the alarm site shall not be considered a false alarm.
The following schedule of notices, warnings and fees apply during a continuous 12-month period:
• First false alarm — No fee. Verbal notification by the Union City Police Department or Union City Fire Department.
• Second false alarm — No fee. Written notification advising the alarm user and/or alarm business of the provisions of this ordinance.
• Third and all subsequent false alarms — A service fee of $150 to reimburse the city for equipment, personnel, fuel, administration and other related costs.
Several exemptions apply, including false alarms recorded with the first 14 days of installation, those caused by railroad trains, those involving city property, those outside the jurisdiction of the city pursuant to a mutual aid or other contract, those recorded because of the weather or other natural occurrence, those activated by someone working on the alarm if the city has prior notification, those caused by disruption or disturbance of telephone company facilities or motor vehicle-utility pole accidents and those from rural fire customers, since a charge is already assessed for responding to those calls.
Published in The Messenger 10.15.07

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