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false alarm fines challenged in Federal Class action
July 9, 2019
See webinar notice below:  cyber security – protect yourself and make money
false alarm fines challenged in Federal Class action
            Thought you'd be interested in this. A BBQ business in Suffolk County, NY has commenced a Federal Class action lawsuit against Suffolk County challenging Suffolk’s false alarm fines against business owners.  Would really be cool if you could write a letter of support for this guy, or even mention it in your blog. Maybe it would spark some interest in the lethargic alarm companies in Suffolk County. 
            If more of them had shown up at the Suffolk County hearings maybe this alarm "Tax" could have been, at least mitigated. If I remember right, there was myself and at the most, only three other alarm company owners who showed up at the hearings. 
I'm convinced that the poor showing resulted in the passing of the Suffolk County alarm (tax) law. 
            At one of the hearings there was some gun related legislation being considered and the place was packed to standing room only with only me and two others protesting the alarm law. 
    Suffolk County just recently passed a new false alarm law and that is what the Federal lawsuit is challenging.  
     Back in the 90's a law was passed in Suffolk County requiring alarm permits for commercial establishments. Basically it said that if you didn't have a permit, the police would not respond to an alarm signal from your premises. As it turned out it was a law passed but very few businesses paid heed to it and it just became a law that fell by the wayside. After that, in various meeting with the LIAA, the police chief and acting police chief attending a meeting at the LIAA promised that they would never impose of support a permit / fine program on residential alarm owners. 
     Fast forward to 2017, The NEW police chief, picking up on the fact that there was an alarm permit law on the books for commercial alarm owners, expanded on the existing law to include residential alarm owners. He was able to present this directly to the Suffolk county board without any of the normal processes (whatever they may be) and all of a sudden it is picked up by someone in the alarm trade that the Suffolk County board is voting on a alarm permit law in Suffolk County. It was done kind of sneakily and was up for vote before anyone could negotiate the terms of the law. It started out with (I think I remember this right) $100. a year will two free alarms. and $300.00 if you didn't have a permit escalating exorbitantly higher with each subsequent false alarm. But not only was it the sneaky way it got to the legislature but the fact that the funds go directly to the police department and not to the general county fund. In addition to the anticipated 9 million dollars the law would bring to the police department they had also been the beneficiary of an additional (I think ) 10 million dollars in ""Additional" funds for that year. Come to find out, there is an abundance of police officers coming up for retirement in the next couple of years.------ the likely reason for this whole push for more funds. Certainly not to alleviate any serious alarm problem. 
     Myself and Bob Speta of Alarmtech central station were the only ones to show up and speak at every hearing. only about 5 other alarm company representative ever showed up intermittently to any hearing. But, at the  least we were able to convince them to lower the fee to $50.00 for two years and 2 free alarms per year.  
    They (the Police/County) are presently touting the fact that false alarms have decreased due to the alarm law. In reality the false alarms have decreased because now the police are the last to be called on the contact list. thus putting the end user in the position of "guessing" if there really is someone breaking into their home or not when they get a call from central station. 
     So, regarding supporting this guy who is suing over false alarm fees I would say, just because of the sneaky way it was done and the fact that the police department has the final say without recourse and or a hearing and that the Police Department directly benefits from every false alarm they "decree" ------- that the law should be rescinded or at least modified to allow for hearings and a redirection of funds to the County general fund.     
     Of course, getting the lethargic alarm companies to get off their ass and petition for it ------- is a whole other story.
As I am sure you know the last board of directors of the LIAA, (Once the strongest association in New York ) totally destroyed and bankrupted the association -- now defunct. 
Reliable Alarm

            According to the article Suffolk County claims that the false alarm fines have cut false alarms in half, and raised $9 million a year.
            There is nothing new about false alarm fines.  Suffolk, like many jurisdictions, fines the property owner, the end user, not the alarm company.  Alarm permit fees and false alarm fines have been upheld as serving legitimate police powers.
            The Standard Form Agreements clearly require the subscriber to reimburse the alarm company if the alarm company is fined for a false alarm, and for permit fees.  We rarely get challenges to those provisions.

Title:  What security integrators must know about cybersecurity
Description:  How to generate recurring revenue from cyber security and how to protect you and your customer from liability
When:  July 16, 2019  12 -1 PM EST
Hosted By: Ken Kirschenbaum, Esq.
Presented by:  Darnell Washington
Who should attend: Alarm company owners and general managers
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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
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516 747 6700 x 301