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Legislation #: 970277 Introduction Date: 3/6/1997
Type: Ordinance Effective Date: 5/11/1997
Sponsor: COUNCILMEMBER GLOVER
Title: Amending Chapter 50, Code of Ordinances of the City of Kansas City, Missouri, by repealing Sections 50-331 through 50-338, inclusive, and enacting in lieu thereof new Sections 50-331 through 50-350, said sections to be of like subject matter to provide for regulation of security alarms.

Legislation History
DateMinutesDescription
4/24/1997

Waive Charter Requirements City Council

3/6/1997

Prepare to Introduce

3/6/1997

Referred Neighborhood Development Committee

3/12/1997

Hold On Agenda

3/26/1997

Hold On Agenda

4/2/1997

Do Pass as a Committee Substitute

4/3/1997

Assigned to Third Read Calendar

4/10/1997

Held off Docket

4/24/1997

Held on Docket

5/1/1997

Passed as Substituted and Amended

5/1/1997

Amended

5/1/1997

Move to Amend

5/1/1997

Withdraw

5/1/1997

Move to Amend


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COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR ORDINANCE NO. 970277, AS AMENDED

 

Amending Chapter 50, Code of Ordinances of the City of Kansas City, Missouri, by repealing Sections 50-331 through 50-338, inclusive, and enacting in lieu thereof new Sections 50-331 through 50-350, said sections to be of like subject matter to provide for regulation of security alarms.

 

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF KANSAS CITY:

 

Section A. That Chapter 50, Code of Ordinances of the City of Kansas City, Missouri, is hereby amended by repealing Sections 50-331 through 50-338, inclusive, and enacting in lieu thereof new Sections 50-331 through 50-350, said sections to read as follows:

 

Sec. 50-331. Purpose.

 

(a) The purpose of this ordinance is to encourage alarm users and alarm businesses to maintain the operational reliability and properly use alarm systems and to reduce or eliminate false alarm dispatch requests.

 

(b) This ordinance governs systems intended to summon police response, requires permits, establishes fees, provides for fees for violations, establishes a system of administration, and sets conditions for suspension or loss of permits.

 

Sec. 50-332. Definitions.

 

(a) Alarm administrator means a person or persons designated by the Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri (BOPC) to administer, control and review alarm applications, permits and alarm dispatch requests.

 

(b) Alarm agent means any person who is employed by an alarm business either directly or indirectly, whose duties include any of the following: selling, maintaining, testing, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving or installing in any building, structure or facility any alarm system, excluding any person who installs an alarm system in a home wherein that person personally resides.

 

(c) Alarm Business means the business, by an individual, partnership, corporation or other entity of selling, leasing, maintaining, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving, installing or monitoring an alarm system in an alarm site.

 

(d) Alarm dispatch request means a notification to the police by the alarm business that an alarm, either manual or automatic, has been activated at a particular alarm site.

 

(e) Alarm Review Board shall consist of the members of the Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri, as established by Section 84.350, et seq., of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, or their designee or designees.

 

(f) Alarm site means a single premises or location served by an alarm system or systems. Each tenancy, if served by a separate alarm system in a multi-tenant building or complex, shall be considered a separate alarm site.

 

(g) Alarm system means any assembly of equipment, mechanical or electrical, device or series of devices, including, but not limited to, systems interconnected with wire or radio frequency signals, which are designed to discourage crime, by emitting or transmitting a remote or local audible, visual or electronic signal indicating an alarm condition. Alarm system does not include:

 

(1) an alarm installed on a vehicle unless the vehicle is permanently located at a site; or

 

(2) an alarm designed to alert only the inhabitants of a premises that does not have a sounding device which can be heard on the exterior of the alarm site.

 

(h) Alarm user means any person, firm, partnership, corporation, association or other entity who (which) uses an alarm system at an alarm site.

 

(i) Chief means the Chief of Police of the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department or his authorized designee.

 

(j) Conversion means the transaction or process by which one alarm business begins monitoring of an alarm system previously monitored by another alarm business.

 

(k) False alarm means an alarm signal eliciting a police response when a situation requiring an immediate response does not in fact exist, such as when no breach of security has been attempted or committed. An alarm will not be considered a false alarm if it is determined that the alarm was caused by:

 

(1) Natural or manmade catastrophe, or an act of God. Such events include tornadoes, floods, earthquakes or other similar violent conditions.

 

(2) Vandalism causing physical damage to the premises.

 

(3) Telephone line outage.

 

(4) Attempted entry of a location causing visible, physical or other evidence of damage to the location which has caused the alarm to sound.

 

(5) Severe weather causing physical damage to the premises.

 

(6) The test of a local alarm system by a licensed alarm business agent or employee who is present at the premises servicing, repairing or installing the alarm.

 

(l) False alarm dispatch means an alarm dispatch request to the Police Department, when the responding officer finds no evidence of a criminal offense or attempted criminal offense after having completed an investigation of the alarm site. An alarm dispatch request which is canceled by the alarm business or the alarm user prior to the time the responding officer reaches the alarm site shall not be considered a false alarm dispatch.

 

(m) False alarm user awareness class means a class jointly sponsored, conducted and operated by the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department and the alarm industry for the purpose of educating alarm users about the problems created by false alarm dispatches and the responsible use of their alarm system.

 

(n) Holdup alarm means a silent alarm signal generated by the manual activation of a device intended to signal a robbery in progress.

 

(o) Keypad means a device that allows control of an alarm system by the manual entering of a coded sequence of number or letters.

 

(p) Monitoring means the process by which an alarm business receives signals from alarm systems and relays an alarm dispatch request to the police for the purpose of summoning police response to the alarm site.

 

(q) One plus duress alarm means the manual activation of a silent alarm signal by entering at a keypad a code that adds one to the last digit of the normal arm/disarm code (normal code = 1234 one plus duress code = 1235).

 

(r) Person means an individual, corporation, partnership, association, organization or similar entity.

 

(s) Takeover means the transaction or process by which an alarm user takes over control of an existing alarm system which was previously controlled by another alarm user.

 

(t) Verify means an attempt, by the alarm business, or its representative, to contact the alarm site by telephonic or other electronic means, whether or not actual contact with a person is made, before requesting a police dispatch.

 

Sec. 50-333. Permit required; application; fee; transferability; false statements.

 

(a) No alarm user shall operate, or cause to be operated, an alarm system at its alarm site without a valid alarm permit issued by the alarm administrator. A separate permit is required for each alarm site.

 

(b) The annual fee for an initial permit or permit renewal for an alarm site and the fee for each false alarm shall be determined and set by the Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri. No refund of an initial permit or permit renewal fee will be made. The initial annual permit fee must be submitted to the alarm administrator within fifteen (15) days after the alarm installation or alarm takeover. The alarm administrator has the authority to adjust the fees for those individuals on public assistance. These would include individuals receiving: (1) Social Security benefits; (2) Food Stamps; (3) Aid to Dependent Children; or (4) Supplemental Security Income (SSI). No alarm system will be responded to by the Police Department without a valid alarm permit number provided by the alarm administrator at the time of application. Permit renewal fees in each subsequent year shall be the annual fee plus any additional fee for the third and every subsequent false alarm that occurred during the previous twelve (12) months.

 

(c) Upon receipt of a completed application form and the permit fee, the alarm administrator shall issue an alarm permit to an applicant unless the applicant has:

 

(1) failed to pay a fee assessed under Section 50-345 or,

 

(2) had an alarm permit for the alarm site suspended or revoked, and the violation causing the suspension or revocation has not been corrected.

 

(d) Each permit application must include the following information:

 

(1) the name, address, and telephone numbers of the person who will be the permit holder and be responsible for the proper maintenance and operation of the alarm system and

payment of fees assessed under this article;

 

(2) the classification of the alarm site as either residential, commercial or apartment;

 

(3) for each alarm system located at the alarm site, the purpose of the alarm system, i.e., burglary, holdup, duress, or other;

 

(4) signed certification from the alarm user and the alarm business stating:

 

(A) the date of installation, conversion or takeover of the alarm system, whichever

is applicable;

 

(B) the name, address, and phone number of the alarm business performing the

alarm system installation, conversion or alarm system takeover and

responsible for providing repair service to the alarm system;

 

(C) the name, address, and phone number of the alarm business monitoring the

alarm system if different from the installing alarm business;

 

(D) that a set of written operating instructions for the alarm system, including

written guidelines on how to avoid false alarms, have been left with the

applicant; and

 

(E) that the alarm business has trained the applicant in proper use of the alarm

system, including instructions on how to avoid false alarms.

 

(e) Any false statement of a material matter made by an applicant for the purpose of obtaining an alarm permit shall be sufficient cause for refusal to issue a permit.

 

(f) An alarm permit cannot be transferred to another person. An alarm user shall inform the alarm administrator of any change that alters any information listed on the permit application within five business days.

 

(g) All fees owed by an applicant must be paid before a permit may be issued or renewed.

 

(h) Information contained in permit applications shall be held in confidence by all employees or representatives of the BOPC with access to such information subject to the requirements of Chapter 610 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri.

 

Sec. 50-334. Alarm systems in apartment complexes - contracted for by individual tenant.

 

(a) If an alarm system installed by an individual tenant in an apartment complex unit is monitored, the tenant must provide the name of a representative of the apartment owner or property manager who can grant access to the apartment to the alarm business which is providing the monitoring service.

 

(b) A tenant of an apartment complex shall also obtain an alarm permit from the alarm administrator before operating or causing the operation of an alarm system in the tenant's residential unit. The annual fee for this permit or the renewal of this permit shall be the same as the fee for an alarm site.

 

(c) For purposes of enforcing this article against an individual residential unit, the tenant is responsible for false alarm dispatches emitted from the alarm system in the tenant's residential unit.

 

Sec. 50-335. Alarm systems in apartment complexes - furnished by the apartment complex as an amenity.

 

(a) If the owner or property manager of an apartment complex, consisting of more than six (6) units, provides alarm systems in the units as an amenity, the owner or property manager of the apartment complex shall obtain a master alarm permit from the alarm administrator. The annual fee for this permit and for each renewal of this permit shall be determined and set by the Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri. All units, whether occupied or not, shall be included in calculating the required fee.

 

(b) For purposes of assessing fees and enforcing this article, the master alarm permit holder is responsible for payment of fees for false alarm dispatches emitted from the alarm systems in residential units.

 

(c) The owner or property manager of an apartment complex shall obtain a separate alarm permit for any alarm system operated in a non-residential area of the apartment complex, including, but not limited to, common tenant areas and office, storage and equipment areas. An annual fee for such a permit shall be the same as the fee for an alarm site.

 

Sec. 50-336. Permit duration and renewal.

 

A permit shall expire one year from the date of issuance in accordance with a schedule established by the alarm administrator and must be renewed annually by submitting an updated application and an appropriate permit renewal fee to the alarm administrator. It is the responsibility of the alarm user to submit an application prior to the permit expiration date. Failure to renew will be classified as use of a non-permitted alarm system and police response will be suspended until such time as the permit is renewed and all applicable permit fees are paid. The alarm administrator will notify the alarm user and the alarm business when an alarm permit is due for renewal. Failure to be so notified shall not relieve the alarm user or alarm business of the requirements to fully comply with the provisions of this ordinance.

 

Sec. 50-337. Proper alarm systems operation and maintenance.

 

(a) An alarm user shall:

 

(1) maintain the premises and the alarm system in a manner that will minimize or eliminate false alarm dispatches, and

 

(2) make every reasonable effort to respond or cause a representative to respond to the alarm system's location within one hour when notified to deactivate a malfunctioning

alarm system, to provide access to the premises, or to provide security for the

premises; and

 

(3) not manually activate an alarm for any reason other than an occurrence of an event that the alarm system was intended to report.

 

(b) An alarm user shall adjust the mechanism or cause the mechanism to be adjusted so that an alarm signal audible on the exterior of an alarm site will sound for no longer than fifteen (15) minutes after being activated.

 

Sec. 50-338. Monitoring procedures.

 

(a) An alarm business performing monitoring services shall:

 

(1) report alarm signals by using telephone numbers designated by the alarm administrator;

 

(2) attempt to verify every alarm signal, except a duress or hold up alarm activation, before requesting a police response to an alarm signal;

 

(3) communicate alarm dispatch requests in a manner and form established by the alarm administrator;

 

(4) communicate verified cancellations of alarm dispatch requests in a manner and form established by the alarm administrator.

 

(b) The alarm administrator shall:

 

(1) designate a manner, form and telephone numbers for the communication of alarm dispatch requests;

 

(2) develop a procedure to accept verified cancellation of alarm dispatch requests.

 

Sec. 50-339. Duties of alarm business.

 

(a) After January 1, 1998, alarm businesses shall not program alarm systems so that they are capable of sending one plus duress alarms. Alarm businesses may continue to report one plus duress alarms received from alarm systems programmed with this feature prior to 1998. However, after January 1, 1998, when performing a takeover or conversion an alarm business must remove the one plus duress alarm capability from the alarm system being taken over or converted.

 

(b) After January 1, 1998, alarm businesses shall not install a device for activating a hold-up alarm which is a single action non-recessed button.

 

(c) The alarm business shall contact the alarm administrator in a manner designated by the alarm administrator; to obtain alarm permit numbers to be recorded on the customers alarm permit application.

 

Sec. 50-340. Alarm system operating instructions.

 

An alarm user shall maintain at each alarm site a set of written operating instructions for each alarm system.

 

Sec. 50-341. Alarm dispatch request records.

 

(a) The officer responding to an alarm dispatch request shall record such information as necessary to permit the alarm administrator to maintain records, including, but not limited, to the following information:

 

(1) identification of the permit number for the alarm site;

 

(2) identification of the alarm site;

 

(3) arrival time at the alarm site and dispatch received time;

 

(4) date and time;

 

(5) weather conditions;

 

(6) area and/or sub-area of premises involved;

 

(7) name of alarm user's representative on premises, if any;

 

(8) identification of the responsible alarm business.

 

(b) the responding police officer shall indicate on the dispatch record whether the dispatch was caused by a criminal offense, an attempted criminal offense, or was a false alarm dispatch.

 

(c) In the case of an assumed false alarm dispatch, the responding police officer shall leave notice at the alarm site that the Police Department has responded to a false alarm dispatch. The notice shall include the following information:

 

(1) the date and time of police response to the false alarm dispatch;

 

(2) the identification number of the responding police officer;

 

(3) a statement urging the alarm user to ensure that the alarm system is properly operated, inspected, and served in order to avoid fees; and

 

(4) information about the new fee schedule that takes effect July 1, 1997.

 

(d) Alarm businesses which perform monitoring services must maintain for a period of at least one year following request for police dispatch to an alarm site, records relating to the dispatch. Records must include the name, address and phone number of the alarm user, the alarm system zone(s) or point(s) activated, the time of request for police dispatch and evidence that an attempt to verify was made to the alarm site prior to the request for police dispatch. The alarm administrator may have access to and copies of such records for individually named alarm users.

 

Sec. 50-342. System performance reviews.

 

If there is reason to believe an alarm system is not being used or maintained in a manner that ensures proper operation and suppresses false alarms, the alarm administrator may require a conference with an alarm user and the alarm business responsible for the repair of the alarm system to review the circumstances of each false alarm.

 

Sec. 50-343. False alarm user awareness class.

 

The alarm administrator shall oversee the creation and implementation of a false alarm user awareness class. The class shall inform alarm users of the problems created by false alarm dispatches and teach alarm users how to operate their alarm systems without generating false alarm dispatches. The alarm administrator may require that alarm users must attend a false alarm user awareness class after reaching two false alarm dispatches in a calendar year. The alarm administrator shall set the class enrollment fee.

 

Sec. 50-344. Appeals.

 

(a) An alarm user may appeal assessment of a fee or the suspension or revocation of a permit to the Alarm Review Board by filing a written request for hearing setting forth the reasons for the appeal within ten (10) days after being notified of the fee or other action. The filing of a request for an appeal hearing with the Alarm Review Board stays the assessment of the fee until the Alarm Review Board makes a final decision.

 

(b) The Alarm Review Board shall conduct a hearing and consider the evidence of any interested person(s). The Board shall make its decision on the basis of the preponderance of evidence presented at the hearing including, but not limited to, evidence that a false alarm dispatch was caused by a defective part that has been repaired or replaced or that an alarm dispatch request was caused by a criminal offense. The Board must render a decision within thirty (30) days after the appeal hearing is held. The Board shall affirm, reverse or modify the assessment of the fee or the other action taken. The decision of the Board is final subject only to the provisions of Section 536.140 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri.

 

Sec. 50-345. Revocation, suspension or loss of alarm permit.

 

(a) The alarm administrator may also suspend or revoke an alarm permit if it is determined that:

 

(1) there is a false statement of a material matter in the application for a permit;

 

(2) the alarm user has failed to make timely payment of a fee assessed under this ordinance; or

 

(3) the alarm user or alarm business has failed in any manner to comply with the terms of this ordinance.

 

(b) The Chief may refuse police response to an alarm dispatch request at an alarm site for which the alarm permit is revoked.

 

(c) The Chief may prioritize alarm dispatch requests and may temporarily refuse police response to an alarm dispatch request at an alarm site where there is a valid permit based on other police needs and demands in the City.

 

Sec. 50-346. Reinstatement of permit.

 

A person whose alarm permit has been revoked may be issued a new permit if the person:

 

(1) submits an updated application and pays a permit fee; and

 

(2) pays, or otherwise resolves, all matters and fees pending; and

 

(3) submits a certification from an alarm business stating that the alarm system has been inspected and repaired (if necessary) by the alarm business.

 

Sec. 50-347. Use of fees.

 

All fees collected under this ordinance shall go to the Board of Police Commissioners to be used in their discretion to off-set the costs of administering this ordinance and to defray the costs involved by the police in responding to false alarms. Said fees shall be in addition to other funding required by Section 84.730 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri.

 

Sec. 50-348. Effective date.

 

All alarm users shall have permits required by this ordinance within ninety (90) days of the effective date of the ordinance and shall renew said permits as required by this ordinance in accordance with a schedule established by the alarm administrator.

 

Sec. 50.347. Registration of alarm agents.

 

(a) Within 180 days of the effective date of this ordinance, all alarm businesses shall issue to each alarm agent a valid identification card issued by the private officers licensing section of the Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri. Said identification card shall establish that the alarm agent is licensed as a private security guard as provided for under the provisions of Section 84.720 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri. Each alarm agent shall meet the qualifications to be a private security guard as those qualifications are from time to time established by Title 17 of the Code of State Regulations as those regulations apply to private security guards.

 

(b) Every alarm agent shall maintain his or her identification card on his or her person while acting in the scope of his or her employment and shall produce said identification card upon request of any customer, prospective customer or lawful authority, including but not limited to any Kansas City, Missouri police officer.

 

(c) In addition to the requirements for a license as a private security guard, each alarm agent shall be required to have a NBFAA Level I Certificate of Course Completion in the alarm agents name.

 

(d) The provisions of Section 50-349 of this ordinance shall not apply to:

 

(1) Persons engaged solely in the manufacture or sale of an alarm system or the components thereof from a fixed location who do not install, maintain, service or plan

the alarm system for any location.

 

(2) Persons engaged in the repair of alarm systems or components from a fixed location and who do not, either personally or through an agent, visit the structure in which or

on which the alarm system is installed.

 

Sec. 50-350. Penalty.

 

Any person maintaining an alarm system in violation of this ordinance, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $100.00.

 

_______________________________________________________

 

Approved as to form and legality:

 

 

 

__________________________________

Assistant City Attorney