Chapter 11.05


11.05.030    Definitions.

11.05.040    Audible Alarms—Identification of Owner Operation.

11.05.050    Direct Dial Telephone Device Prohibited When.

11.05.060    False Alarm—Prohibited—Exception.

11.05.070    False Alarm—Owner Responsibility.

11.05.080    Maintaining a Public Nuisance Alarm.

11.05.090    Exemptions from Applicability.

11.05.100    Misuse of Alarm System.

11.05.110    Violation—Corrective Action—Nuisance Alarms—Prosecution.

11.05.120    Appeal Process.

11.05.130    Break-in Period.

11.05.140    Fees.

11.05.160    Compliance Required.

*    Prior ordinance history: Ord. 89-29.

11.05.030 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the words hereinafter defined are used as so defined unless it is apparent from the context that a different meaning is intended.

“Alarm owner” means the person who owns, leases, rents, uses or makes available for use by his agents, employees, representatives or family, any alarm system.

“Alarm system” means any device, whether known as a burglary, robbery, or intrusion alarm, direct-dial telephone device, audible or silent alarm, or by any other name, which is used for the detection of any unauthorized entry into a building, structure or facility, or to signal the commission of an unlawful act. It shall include those devices which emit a signal within the protected premises where located, and are otherwise known as “proprietary alarm systems.” Auxiliary devices installed by a telephone company to protect company systems which might be damaged or disrupted by the use of an alarm system are not included in this definition. Alarms affixed to automobiles are not governed by this chapter.

“Audible alarm” means a device designed to notify persons in the immediate vicinity of a protected premises, by emission of an audible sound, of an unauthorized entry on the premises or of the commission of an unlawful act.

“Direct-dial device” means a device which is connected to a telephone line and upon activation of an alarm system, automatically dials a predetermined telephone number and transmits a message or signal indicating a need for emergency response.

“False alarm” means an alarm signal activated by causes other than the commission or attempted commission of an unlawful act which the alarm system is designated to detect and/or report; and which results in a requested and/or actual response by police. False alarms include, but are not limited to, the activation of an alarm system because of mechanical failure, preventable accident, improper operation, misuse, malfunction, improper installation, or negligence or carelessness of the alarm user. An alarm signal activated by violent conditions of nature or other extraordinary circumstances not subject to the control of the alarm owner shall not constitute a false alarm. (Ord. 97-15, 10/15/97)

11.05.040 Audible Alarms—Identification of Owner Operation.

For every audible alarm, the alarm owner thereof shall post the names and telephone numbers of persons to be notified to render repairs or service during any hour of the day or night during which the audible alarm is operated. An audible alarm shall terminate its operation or the audible alarm shall automatically reset within thirty (30) minutes of its being activated. No audible alarm may, when activated, emit a sound similar to the siren of authorized vehicles as defined in Section 165 of the California Vehicle Code. The principal alarm user shall ensure that all alarm users are instructed in the proper use of the alarm system and are aware of the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 97-15, 10/15/97)

11.05.050 Direct Dial Telephone Device Prohibited When.

No person or other entity, except the City, shall use any alarm system which is equipped with a direct-dial device, and which when activated, automatically dials any telephone number in any office of the Sheriff or other law enforcement entity. (Ord. 97-15, 10/15/97)

11.05.060 False Alarm—Prohibited—Exception.

A.    A person shall not knowingly cause a false alarm to occur. This section does not prohibit a test of an alarm system as permitted in advance by the Sheriff.

B.    Violation of this section is a misdemeanor. (Ord. 97-15, 10/15/97)

11.05.070 False Alarm—Owner Responsibility.

After any false alarm, the alarm owner shall, upon request by the Sheriff, submit a written report to the Sheriff describing actions taken or to be taken to eliminate the cause of the false alarm. This report shall be submitted with ten (10) days of the date of request by the Sheriff. (Ord. 97-15, 10/15/97)

11.05.080 Maintaining a Public Nuisance Alarm.

An alarm owner shall not operate an alarm system which generates more than two (2) false alarms in any twelve (12) month period. (Ord. 97-15, 10/15/97)

11.05.090 Exemptions from Applicability.

The provisions of Sections 11.05.040 through 11.05.080 are not applicable to audible alarms for motor vehicles or to a public telephone utility whose only duty is to furnish telephone service pursuant to tariffs on file with the California Public Utilities Commission. (Ord. 97-15, 10/15/97)

11.05.100 Misuse of Alarm System.

Use of an alarm system in the absence of an actual emergency situation, which results in the response of the Sheriff; or use of an alarm system rather than a telephone to summon the Sheriff in any situation where such telephone use would not create an immediate threat to the safety of the caller or other persons; or use of an alarm system to summon police to incidents of shoplifting, petty theft, disturbances, prowlers, suspicious circumstances or to any incident where all suspects are believed to have left the scene, is a false alarm and a misuse of the alarm system. (Ord. 97-15, 10/15/97)

11.05.110 Violation—Corrective Action—Nuisance Alarms—Prosecution.

Violation of this chapter may be prosecuted in the same manner as any other infraction. However, upon the first and second false alarm in a calendar year beginning January 1st, the Sheriff will fill out a form (in triplicate) one to the alarm owner, one to the City, and one to remain on file with the Sheriff’s Department indicating the property location, date of false alarm, and other information necessary to track false alarms. The City will retain copies and track all subsequent false alarms for that alarm user. (Ord. 97-15, 10/15/97)

11.05.120 Appeal Process.

The City shall establish an appeal process and every person receiving monetary charges for false alarm responses may file an appeal. A written appeal must be submitted to the Sheriff’s Department. The appeal will be made to the City Manager or his designee. Decisions of the City Manager or his designee are final. (Ord. 97-15, 10/15/97)

11.05.130 Break-in Period.

A.    The City may establish a procedure which permits a “break-in” period for new alarm systems. False alarms generated during the break-in period will not be charged against the alarm user, provided the following conditions are met:

1.    The City shall be notified in advance, in writing, of the date on which the alarm system will be placed in operation; and

2.    The alarm user and alarm company are actively involved in identifying and correcting actual and potential causes of false alarms.

B.    The break-in period for each new alarm system shall commence on the date indicated in the written notification to the city, and shall not exceed thirty (30) consecutive calendar days and shall not be extended. (Ord. 97-15, 10/15/97)

11.05.140 Fees.

A service charge in an amount established by the City Council by resolution shall be levied for each police response to an alarm determined to be false, after the first two (2) or after expiration of a break-in period, if any. The Department of Administrative Services shall invoice and collect these service charges in the same manner as other debts owed to the City. (Ord. 97-15, 10/15/97)

11.05.160 Compliance Required.

Any alarm installed prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter shall comply with all provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 97-15, 10/15/97)