Chapter 8.10
ALARMS RESPONDED TO BY THE POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS

Sections:

8.10.010    Purpose.

8.10.020    Definitions.

8.10.030    Alarm registration form.

8.10.040    Alarm dispatch request records.

8.10.050    Enforcement.

8.10.060    Appeal procedure.

8.10.070    Exceptions.

8.10.010 Purpose.

A. The purpose of this chapter is to encourage alarm users and alarm businesses to maintain operational reliability, to properly use alarm systems, and to reduce or eliminate police and/or fire false alarm dispatches.

B. This chapter governs systems intended to summon emergency response, establishes a system of administration and false alarm dispatch fines. (Ord. 14C-04 § 1; Ord. 99C-02 § 1).

8.10.020 Definitions.

A. “Alarm administrator” means a person designated by the police chief and/or fire chief to review alarm response forms, respond to inquiries, and maintain alarm registration and false alarm dispatch databases.

B. “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.

C. “Alarm dispatch request” means a notification to the police and/or fire department by the alarm business that an alarm, either manual or automatic, has been activated at a particular alarm site.

D. “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 multitenant building or complex, shall be considered a separate alarm site.

E. “Alarm system” means a device or series of devices including, but not limited to, systems interconnected with radio frequency signals, which are designed to discourage crime, report fires or water flow from fire sprinklers 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 that can be heard on the exterior of the alarm site.

F. “Alarm user” means any person operating an alarm system at its alarm site.

G. “Duress alarm” means a silent alarm signal generated by the manual activation of a device intended to signal a crisis situation requiring police and/or fire response.

H. “False alarm dispatch” means an alarm dispatch request to the police and/or fire departments when the responding police officer/firefighter who, after completing a timely investigation of the alarm site, finds no evidence of a criminal or attempted criminal offense or risk from fire, heat, water or smoke. An alarm dispatch request that is canceled by the alarm business or the alarm user prior to the time the responding police officer/firefighter reaches the alarm site shall not be considered a false alarm dispatch.

I. “Holdup alarm” means a silent alarm signal generated by the manual activation of a device intended to signal a robbery in progress.

J. “Monitoring” means the process by which an alarm business receives signals from alarm systems and relays an alarm dispatch request to the police and/or fire department for the purpose of summoning police or fire response to the alarm site.

K. “Person” means an individual, corporation, partnership, association, organization or similar entity. (Ord. 14C-04 § 1; Ord. 06C-06 § 2; Ord. 99C-02 § 1).

8.10.030 Alarm registration form.

A. Alarm users may register alarm systems by completing an alarm registration form and returning it to the police department. A separate alarm registration form is encouraged for each alarm site. The alarm administrator shall maintain an alarm registration database.

B. Alarm registration forms may include, but are not limited to, the following information:

1. The name(s), address, and phone number(s) of the alarm user.

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, fire or other.

4. The name, address, and phone number of the alarm business.

5. Whether the alarm site is equipped or nonequipped for duress alarm.

6. Emergency contact(s) of the alarm user, to include name(s) and phone number(s). (Ord. 14C-04 § 1; Ord. 99C-02 § 1).

8.10.040 Alarm dispatch request records.

A. The police officer and/or firefighter responding to an alarm dispatch request shall record such information as necessary on the alarm response form to permit the alarm administrator to maintain records.

B. The responding police officer and/or firefighter shall indicate on the alarm response form whether the dispatch was caused by a criminal or attempted criminal offense, or risk from fire, heat, water or smoke, or was a false alarm dispatch.

C. In the case of an assumed false alarm dispatch, the responding police officer and/or firefighter shall leave notice at the alarm site, or notify the alarm user by mail, that the police and/or fire department has responded to a false alarm dispatch. If there is reason to believe that an alarm system is not being used or maintained in a manner that ensures proper operation and suppresses false alarm dispatches, 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 dispatch. (Ord. 14C-04 § 1; Ord. 06C-06 § 2; Ord. 99C-02 § 1. Formerly 8.10.070).

8.10.050 Enforcement.

An alarm user shall be subject to the following warning or fines, depending on the number of false alarm dispatches emitted from an alarm system within a calendar year:

A. First false alarm dispatch: The alarm user shall receive a warning letter only.

B. Second false alarm dispatch: The alarm user shall receive a $75.00 fine.

C. Third false alarm dispatch: The alarm user shall receive a $100.00 fine.

D. Fourth false alarm dispatch: The alarm user shall receive a $125.00 fine.

E. Fifth or more false alarm dispatches: The alarm user shall receive a $150.00 fine. (Ord. 14C-04 § 1; Ord. 99C-02 § 1. Formerly 8.10.090).

8.10.060 Appeal procedure.

A. An alarm user may appeal assessment of a fine to the alarm administrator by filing a written request for consideration within 10 days of receipt of notice of a fine.

B. The alarm administrator shall consider the explanation provided by the alarm user and shall make his/her decision on the basis of the explanation of the alarm dispatch request and steps taken to reduce the likelihood of future false alarm dispatches. The alarm administrator shall affirm, reverse or modify the assessment of the fine.

C. An alarm user may appeal the alarm administrator’s decision by filing a written notice of appeal to the city clerk within 14 days of the alarm administrator’s decision. The city’s hearing examiner shall hear the appeal. The decision of the hearing examiner is final as to administrative remedies with the city. (Ord. 14C-04 § 1; Ord. 99C-02 § 1. Formerly 8.10.100).

8.10.070 Exceptions.

This chapter shall not apply to the police chief or fire chief, members of the police and/or fire departments, or other persons duly authorized to activate an alarm when such may be deemed proper. (Ord. 14C-04 § 1; Ord. 06C-06 § 2; Ord. 99C-02 § 1. Formerly 8.10.110).