Chapter 8.01


8.01.010    Findings.

8.01.020    Definitions.

8.01.030    Standards of equipment and installation.

8.01.040    Alarm permits.

8.01.050    Fees.

8.01.060    Permit and response suspension.

8.01.070    Hearings.

8.01.080    Appeals of hearing decisions.

8.01.090    General provisions.

8.01.010 Findings.

The city declares that it is necessary and desirable to regulate the installation and attendant response of law enforcement to residential and commercial burglary or emergency alarms in order to promote the health, welfare and safety of the public. The sale and installation of substandard alarm equipment and false alarms arising therefrom constitutes a hazard to the safety of law enforcement and the public in general.

False burglary and robbery alarms enhance the dangers to peace officers. Responding to alarms that are historically false promotes complacency which may allow successful felonious attacks against peace officers. The dangers of automobile collisions while responding to alarms are increased as are officer man-hour costs which diverts law enforcement resources from other essential duties. (Ord. 756 §1(part), 1993)

8.01.020 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings:

A.    “Alarm system” means any device designated for the detection of an unauthorized entry, or attempted unauthorized entry on premises or for alerting others of the commission of an unlawful act, or both, and when activated, emits a sound, light or transmits a signal or message.

B.    “Alarm business” means any person engaged in leasing, moving or installing any alarm system, or causing to be sold, maintained, serviced or repaired, altered, replaced, removed or installed an alarm system in or on any building, place or premises.

C.    “Audible alarm” means a device designated for the detection of unauthorized entry on premises, and, when activated, generates an audible sound on the premises.

D.    “False alarm” means an alarm signal necessitating response by the Lakeport police department where an emergency situation does not exist.

E.    “Proprietor alarm” means an alarm which is not serviced by an alarm business.

F.    “Direct alarm” means an alarm device which produces a signal on the alarm panel of the Lakeport police department communications center, without other interventions.

G.    “Trouble status alarm” means an alarm signal arising from the interruption of telephone service at a point between the protected location and the police department or central receiving station.

H.    “Verified false alarm” means any false alarm except:

1.    Trouble status alarms;

2.    Accidental alarm activation during the first three months of installation of a new alarm system for any reason, including equipment malfunction or owner/operator error;

3.    False alarms caused as a result of power failures, power surges, natural disasters or other acts of nature. The person claiming such cause as a valid excuse for the false alarm shall have the burden of proving or establishing that the malfunction was beyond his or her control.

I.    “Subscriber” means a person contracting with an alarm business for the installation, servicing or maintaining of an alarm system.

J.    “Person” means any individual, partnership, business, establishment corporation or other entity. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to audible alarms affixed to automobile, boats, recreational vehicles, or other forms of surface transportation. (Ord. 756 §1(part), 1993)

8.01.030 Standards of equipment and installation.

A.    All alarm systems, devices or components thereof, installed in the incorporated areas of Lakeport shall be listed on the Burglary Protection Equipment List of Underwriters Laboratory, Inc.

B.    The chief of police or his designee may grant an exception to the requirement wherein non-Underwriters Laboratory, Inc. listed alarm systems, devices or components thereof, are determined by the chief or his designee to be substantially equivalent to, or exceed, the applicable Underwriters Laboratory, Inc. alarm testing standards.

C.    The chief of police or his designee may require the applicant to present documentation and certification from a qualified authority to make the exception determination set forth in subsection B of this section.

D.    All alarm systems installed in compliance with this chapter shall be equipped with a thirty second delay with an audible or visual indicator to notify any person on the premises of a potential false alarm, thereby affording such authorized individual an opportunity to avoid the completion of such false alarm.

E.    No audible alarm may sound for a period of more than fifteen minutes upon each activation. (Ord. 756 §1(part), 1993)

8.01.040 Alarm permits.

A.    Any person owning, using or possessing an alarm system shall obtain an alarm permit from the Lakeport police department prior to the installation, activation or operation of such alarm system.

B.    Alarm businesses shall obtain and process applications for subscribers for whom such systems are installed and maintained. Such alarm business shall obtain a completed application form from the subscriber, and shall collect the permit fee from the subscriber. The fee shall be then paid to the city and the application forwarded to the Lakeport police department for review, approval and registration.

C.    Where a proprietor alarm system is proposed or in operation the application for the permit and payment of fees shall be made directly by the owner or operator of such alarm system to the Lakeport police department.

D.    Alarm system permits shall be valid until surrendered by the permit holder, or suspended or revoked pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 756 §1(part), 1993)

8.01.050 Fees.

A.    Alarm Permit Fee. A fee of twenty-five dollars shall be paid to the city for each alarm permit issued.

B.    Monitoring Fee. A monthly monitoring fee in the amount of twenty-five dollars shall be paid to the Lakeport police department for each direct alarm connected to the alarm panel of the communications center without regard to any other provision of this chapter.

C.    False Alarm Fee. A fee of fifty dollars for the third and each successive verified false alarm (as defined in subsection D of Section 8.01.020 within any twelve-month period shall be assessed and paid to the Lakeport police department by the permittee.

D.    Failure to pay the false alarm fee or monitoring fee within thirty days of the billing date shall result in the suspension of any alarm permit issued until payment is received. Suspension of the alarm permit under the provisions of this section may result in the discontinuation of law enforcement response to additional alarm activations until such time as the permit is reinstated by payment of any fee(s) due. The chief or his designee shall have discretion not to suspend any permit if the alarm is required by federal law or regulation, or if it is used to safeguard items essential to the national defense or security.

E.    The fees in this section shall be considered a debt due and owing the city and may be collected by any lawful means.

F.    No fees for verified false alarms shall be assessed for a system under repair if both the police department communications center and any intermediate answering service or alarm business are notified in advance that the system is under repair. Notice shall also be given upon completion of repairs. Notification of the commencement of repairs to the communications center shall be made in person by the individual making the repairs, who shall present his alarm agent’s permit and such other evidence as may be required showing his authority to undertake repairs. Notice of the completion of repairs may be made by telephone to the communications center. (Ord. 756 §1(part), 1993)

8.01.060 Permit and response suspension.

The chief may suspend or revoke an alarm system permit and/or law enforcement response to a permitted alarm system on the following grounds:

A.    The violation of any of the provisions of this chapter or failure to comply with the same;

B.    Failure to comply with any permit requirement related to the alarm system;

C.    Intentional activation of the alarm system by the permittee or his representative when in fact no crime or emergency was taking place and this was known by such person;

D.    Installation of any alarm system equipment, component or device in violation of this chapter. (Ord. 756 §1(part), 1993)

8.01.070 Hearings.

A.    Notice of a proposed suspension or revocation of the alarm permit and law enforcement response shall be sent to the permittee at least ten calendar days prior to the proposed effective date of said suspension and revocation. The notice shall include:

1.    The proposed effective date of the action;

2.    A statement in ordinary and concise language of all the specific facts or omissions upon which the proposed action is based;

3.    A statement advising the permittee(s) of the right to respond to the proposed action either orally at an informal hearing or in writing and the time within which the response may be made and to whom the response is to be made;

4.    A statement that the permittee shall be given a minimum of ten calendar days from the time of receipt of said notice to respond.

B.    If a hearing before the chief or his designee is requested by the permittee, such request must be made by the permittee within three days of the permittee’s receipt of the notice of proposed action.

C.    When requested pursuant to this section, the chief or his designee shall hold an informal hearing to allow the permittee to present oral or written evidence in response to the proposed suspension or revocation.

D.    Following the permittee’s response and the completion of the hearing, if any, written notice of the action taken, if any, shall be forwarded to the permittee, including instructions for filing a formal appeal pursuant to Section 8.01.080.

E.    The permittee may, within ten calendar days after receipt of the notice of action, appeal the action pursuant to Section 8.01.080. (Ord. 756 §1(part), 1993)

8.01.080 Appeals of hearing decisions.

If a permittee feels the proposed action is incorrect, the permittee may appeal through the following process:

A.    Upon receipt of the notice of action, the permittee may, within ten calendar days, file an appeal with the city council. Such appeal shall be filed with the city clerk to the council requesting a hearing within the next two council meeting dates for which the agenda has not yet been set. At the appointed hearing time, such permittee shall be prepared to present facts and evidence to support their case.

B.    Within two regular meetings of the council after the hearing is closed, the council should announce its decision on the appeal. (Ord. 756 §1(part), 1993)

8.01.090 General provisions.

A.    Time limits may be waived by mutual written consent of the principal parties involved.

B.    All council hearings regarding alarm permit suspensions/revocations and law enforcement response suspension shall be held in public.

C.    In conducting the hearing, the city council shall not be limited by the technical rules of evidence. (Ord. 756 §1(part), 1993)