Chapter 8.64
ALARM SYSTEMS

Sections:

8.64.010    Definitions.

8.64.015    Administration; Funding; Increases in Fees; Annual Evaluation.

8.64.020    Alarm User Registration Requirements and Fees.

8.64.021    Alarm User Registration Application and Contents.

8.64.022    Terms of Alarm User Registration; Transfer of Registration Prohibited.

8.64.025    Duties of Alarm Users.

8.64.030    Audible Alarms; Restrictions.

8.64.035    Duties of Alarm Installation Companies and Monitoring Companies.

8.64.040    Business Registration of Alarm Installation and Monitoring Companies.

8.64.045    Duties and Authority of the Alarm Administrator.

8.64.050    False Alarm Fees.

8.64.055    Notice to Alarm Users of False Alarms and Suspension of Sheriff Response.

8.64.060    Suspension of Sheriff Response to Alarm Sites.

8.64.065    Appeals of Determinations Regarding Alarm Registrations and Fees.

8.64.070    Reinstatement of Suspended Alarm Registrations.

8.64.075    Revocation of Alarm User Registration and Business Registration.

8.64.080    Confidentiality of Alarm Information.

8.64.085    Scope of Sheriff Duty; Immunities Preserved.

8.64.090    Service Charges.

8.64.010 Definitions.

A.    "Alarm Administrator" means the person designated by the Sheriff to administer the provisions of this Chapter.

B.    "Alarm dispatch request" means a notification to the Sheriff that an alarm, either manual or automatic, has been activated at a particular alarm site.

C.    "Alarm installation company" means a person in the business of selling, providing, maintaining, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving or installing an alarm system at an alarm site for compensation, and includes individuals or firms that install and service alarm systems used in a private business or proprietary facility.

D.    "Alarm registration" means registration issued by the Alarm Administrator to an alarm user which authorizes the operation of an alarm system.

E.    "Alarm Response Manager (ARM)" means a person designated by an alarm installation company or monitoring company to handle alarm issues for the company and act as the primary point of contact for the Sheriff Alarm Administrator and Alarm Coordinator.

F.    "Alarm site" means a location served by one or more alarm systems. In a multi-unit building or complex, each unit shall be considered a separate alarm site if served by a separate alarm system. In a single unit building that houses two or more separate businesses with separate alarm systems, each business will be considered a separate alarm site.

G.    "Alarm system" means a device or series of devices which emit or transmit an audible or remote visual or electronic alarm signal which is intended to summon law enforcement response. The term includes hardwired systems and systems interconnected with a radio frequency method such as cellular or private radio signals, and includes local alarm systems. This term does not include an alarm installed in a motor vehicle, nor on one's person, or an alarm system designed solely to alert the occupants of a building or residence which will not emit a signal either audible or visible from outside the building or residence.

H.    "Alarm user" means any person who has contracted for monitoring, repair, installation or maintenance service for an alarm system from an alarm company, or who owns or operates an alarm system which is not monitored, maintained or repaired under agreement.

I.    "Alarm user awareness class" means a class conducted for the purpose of educating alarm users about the responsible use, operation, and maintenance of alarm systems and the problems created by false alarms.

J.    "Arming station" means a device that controls an alarm system.

K.    "Automatic voice dialer" means any electronic, mechanical, or other device which, when activated, is capable of being programmed to send a prerecorded voice message to a law enforcement agency requesting a patrol dispatch to an alarm site.

L.    "Business registration" means the registration issued by the Sheriff Alarm Administrator to an alarm installation company or monitoring company to sell, install, monitor, repair, or replace alarm systems. The term does not include a business license issued by Pierce County or a license issued by the State Fire Marshal for fire alarm systems.

M.    "Cancellation" means the termination of Sheriff response to an alarm site after dispatch request is made but before a deputy has arrived at the alarm site.

N.    "CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System) Certified" means that the address exists in the U.S. Postal Service Directory and that it conforms to the Directory's standardized format.

O.    "Conversion" means the transaction or process by which one alarm installation company or monitoring company begins the servicing or monitoring of a previously unmonitored alarm system or an alarm system that was previously serviced or monitored by another alarm company.

P.    "Duress alarm" means a silent alarm system signal generated by the entry of a designated code into an arming station in order to signal that the alarm user is being forced to turn off the system and requires law enforcement response.

Q.    "Enhanced Call Verification" means that prior to requesting law enforcement dispatch, a second telephone call is made to a different telephone number if the first attempt fails to reach an alarm user who can determine whether an alarm signal is valid.

R.    "False alarm" means an alarm dispatch request to the Sheriff which results in the responding deputy finding no evidence of a criminal offense or attempted criminal offense after completing an investigation of the alarm site.

S.    "Holdup alarm" means a silent alarm signal generated by the manual activation of a device intended to signal a robbery in progress.

T.    "Local alarm system" means an unmonitored alarm system that annunciates an alarm only at the alarm site.

U.    "Monitoring" means the process by which a monitoring company receives signals from an alarm system and relays an alarm dispatch request to the Sheriff.

V.    "Monitoring company" means the company that contracts with the alarm user to provide monitoring services.

W.    "One plus duress alarm" means the manual activation of a silent alarm signal by entering a code that adds one number to the last digit of the normal arm/disarm code (e.g., normal code = 1234, one plus duress code = 1235).

X.    "Panic alarm" means an alarm system signal generated by the manual activation of a device intended to signal a life threatening or emergency situation requiring law enforcement response.

Y.    "Person" means an individual, corporation, limited liability company, partnership, association, organization or similar entity.

Z.    "Protective or reactive alarm system" means an alarm system that produces a temporary disability or sensory deprivation through use of chemical, electrical, sonic or other means, including use of devices that obscure or disable a person's vision.

AA.    "Responsible party" means a person capable of appearing at the alarm site upon request who has access to the alarm site, the code to the alarm system and the authority to approve repairs to the alarm system.

BB.    "Robbery alarm" means an alarm signal generated by the manual or automatic activation of a device, or any system, device or mechanism on or near the premises intended to signal that a robbery or other crime is in progress, and that a person is in need of immediate law enforcement assistance in order to avoid bodily harm, injury or death. The term has the same general meaning as "holdup alarm."

CC.    "Sheriff" means Pierce County Sheriff's Office.

DD.    "SIA Control Panel Standard CP-01" means the ANSI – American National Standard Institute-approved Security Industry Association – SIA CP-01 Control Panel Standard, as may be updated from time to time, that details recommended design features for security system control panels and their associated arming and disarming devices to reduce the incidence of false alarms. Control panels built and tested to this standard by Underwriters Laboratory (UL), or other nationally recognized testing organizations are marked as follows: "Design evaluated in accordance with SIA CP-01 Control Panel Standard Features for False Alarm Reduction."

EE.    "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.

FF.    "Verified Response" means that prior to the monitoring company making an alarm dispatch request they have verified that the alarm activation is likely a result of criminal activity or an emergency condition. This verification may be one of the following:

1.    The monitoring company has contacted the alarm site and spoken to a person to confirm that a criminal act has occurred or is occurring, requiring law enforcement to respond; or

2.    The alarm site is equipped with an interior live-time video or audio monitored remotely by the monitoring company or the alarm user, and it can be seen or heard that a criminal act has occurred or is occurring, requiring law enforcement to respond; or

3.    The alarm site is equipped with an approved SIA CP-01 control panel which has confirmed that at least two independent zones, (e.g., an exterior perimeter and an interior zone) had been triggered and the alarm site has an alarm system where:

a.    All glass break sensors are dual technology type, and

b.    All motion detectors are dual technology type, and

c.    The monitoring company has completed the "Enhanced Call Verification" to the alarm user; or

4.    The alarm is an older system and not in compliance with the SIA standard, therefore, the monitoring company must:

a.    Insure that they have received two or more alarm signals during the same alarm event period (10 minutes).

GG.    "Verify" means an attempt by the monitoring company, or its representative, to contact the alarm site and/or alarm user, or both, by telephone or other electronic means to determine whether an alarm signal is valid before making an alarm dispatch request.

HH.    "Zones" means division of devices into which an alarm system is divided to indicate the general location from which an alarm system signal is transmitted.

(Ord. 2007-80s § 2 (part), 2007)

8.64.015 Administration; Funding; Increases in Fees; Annual Evaluation.

A.    Responsibility for administration of this Chapter is vested with the Sheriff.

B.    The Sheriff shall designate an Alarm Administrator to carry out the duties and functions described in this Chapter.

C.    Monies generated by false alarm service fees and registration fees assessed pursuant to this Chapter shall be deposited into the appropriate Sheriff Department revenue accounts.

D.    Based upon a review and recommendation from the Sheriff, the fees set forth in this Chapter may be modified by the County Council. The Sheriff or its contract representative shall post the fees on the Sheriff web site and notify the alarm companies and monitoring companies. These companies shall then be responsible to notify their customers of these fees. For purposes of this subsection, "fees" include any type or class of fee and include late fees and penalties.

E.    The Sheriff shall conduct an annual evaluation and analysis of the effectiveness of this Chapter and identify and implement system improvements as warranted.

(Ord. 2007-80s § 2 (part), 2007)

8.64.020 Alarm User Registration Requirements and Fees.

A.    Alarm sites must be registered.

1.    An alarm user shall not operate, or cause to be operated, any alarm system without a valid alarm registration. A separate alarm registration is required for each alarm site having a distinct address or business name. A separate alarm registration is required for each alarm site with the same address having a distinct and separate alarm system (i.e., detached shops or garages on residential property). The initial alarm registration fee must be paid by the alarm user to the Alarm Administrator within ten days after any alarm system installation or alarm system takeover.

2.    Alarm fees. The fees for an alarm registration or an alarm registration renewal are as follows:

a.

Registration Fee:

$24.00 (residential)

$24.00 (commercial)

b.

Annual Renewal Fee:

$24.00 (residential)

$24.00 (commercial)

c.

Reduced Rates for Senior Citizens, 65 years of age or older, and individuals with a permanent disability (residential only):

(1)

Registration Fee:

$12.00

(2)

Annual Renewal Fee:

$12.00

In order to qualify for the senior rate, applicants must provide proof of age, be listed as the property owner or lessee and must have the alarm contract in their name.

In order to qualify as an individual with a permanent disability the individual must provide proof of permanent disability. Proof may be in the form of a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Identification Card or documentation showing at least 30 percent permanent disability, a Washington Department of Licensing parking placard issued for permanent disability under RCW 46.16.381, or any other means that the Sheriff deems an appropriate proof of permanent disability. In addition, the individual must be listed as the property owner or lessee and must have the alarm contract in their name.

d.    An alarm user who upgrades an older alarm system that does not have the ability to report (at a minimum) two or more alarm signals shall have their next registration fee or renewal fee waived if the alarm user provides proof of the upgrade (for example a copy of the receipt).

3.    Late fees. Alarm users who fail to obtain and/or make payment for an alarm registration or renewal within 30 days after notification will be assessed a late fee in the amount of $25.00.

4.    Refunds. No refund of a registration or registration renewal fee will be made.

5.    Existing alarm systems. Any alarm system which was installed before the effective date of this Chapter must be registered by the alarm user within 90 days after the effective date of this Chapter. An alarm installation company or monitoring company shall, within 30 days after being notified in writing from the Alarm Administrator, provide a list of existing alarm users in unincorporated Pierce County to the Alarm Administrator to include name, address, billing address, and telephone number. Failure to comply and provide customer lists to the Alarm Administrator, as required, will result in a fine of $25.00 per working day (after the initial 30-day notice expires, i.e., day 31) until the alarm installation company or monitoring company complies with the requirement. Failure to comply will also result in automatic suspension of their business registration.

6.    New alarm systems. Any alarm installation company that installs an alarm system on premises within unincorporated Pierce County after the effective date of this Chapter must notify the Alarm Administrator within ten days after the date of installation and provide the name, address, billing address, and telephone number of the alarm user and a copy of the Customer False Alarm Prevention Checklist. The failure to notify in accordance with the terms of this subsection shall result in a $100.00 administrative penalty against the alarm installation company.

7.    Upon receipt of a completed alarm registration application form and the alarm registration fee, the Alarm Administrator shall authorize response to the applicant unless:

a.    The applicant has failed to pay a false alarm fee or fine assessed under Chapter 8.64 PCC.

b.    An alarm registration for the alarm site has been suspended, and the violation causing the suspension has not been corrected.

8.    Upon receipt of the registration application form and fee, the Alarm Administrator shall authorize response to the alarm user, which is valid for a one-year period. Renewal registrations are valid for one year.

9.    Government entities, including but not necessarily limited to Pierce County and Pierce County School Districts, must obtain registrations for all alarm systems on property under their control within unincorporated Pierce County, but are exempt from payment of registration and renewal fees.

(Ord. 2007-80s § 2 (part), 2007)

8.64.021 Alarm User Registration Application and Contents.

A.    An application for alarm registration must be on a form provided by the Alarm Administrator and must contain the following information:

1.    The name, complete address (CASS Certified), including apartment or suite number, and telephone numbers of the person who will be the holder of the registration and be responsible for the proper maintenance and operation of the alarm system and payment of fees assessed under this Chapter;

2.    The physical alarm site address (CASS Certified) and classification as either residential (includes apartment, condo, mobile home, etc.) or commercial;

3.    The classification (i.e., burglary, holdup, duress, panic alarm or other) for each alarm system located at the alarm site and, for each classification, whether the alarm is audible or silent;

4.    The applicant's mailing address (CASS Certified), if different from the address of the alarm site;

5.    Any dangerous or special conditions present at the alarm site;

6.    The type of business conducted at a commercial alarm site;

7.    A written certification from the alarm user setting forth the following:

a.    The date of installation, conversion or takeover of the alarm system, whichever is applicable;

b.    The name, address, and telephone number of the alarm installation company or companies performing the alarm system installation, conversion or takeover and of the alarm installation company responsible for providing repair service to the alarm system;

c.    The name, address, and telephone number of the monitoring company if different from the alarm installation company;

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 by the alarm installation company; and

e.    That the alarm installation company has trained the applicant in proper use of the alarm system, including instructions on how to avoid false alarms.

8.    An acknowledgement that the Sheriff response may be influenced by factors including, but not limited to, the availability of deputies, priority of calls, traffic conditions, emergency conditions and staffing levels;

9.    Any false statement of a material fact made by an applicant for the purpose of obtaining an alarm registration is sufficient cause for refusal to issue a registration, or revocation of an existing registration.

(Ord. 2007-80s § 2 (part), 2007)

8.64.022 Terms of Alarm User Registration; Transfer of Registration Prohibited.

A.    An alarm registration cannot be transferred to another person or alarm site. An alarm user shall inform the Alarm Administrator of any change to the information listed on the alarm registration application within five business days after such change. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Alarm Administrator or Alarm Coordinator when the transfer proposed is among members of the family of the original registration holder or successors in interest to the property for which the registration has been issued.

B.    An alarm registration shall expire one year after the date of issuance, and must be renewed annually by submitting a renewal application and a renewal fee to the Alarm Administrator. The Alarm Administrator shall notify each alarm user of the need to renew 30 days prior to the expiration of the registration. It is the responsibility of the alarm user to submit a renewal application prior to the expiration date. A $25.00 late fee shall be assessed to the alarm user if the renewal application fee is received more than 30 days after the notice is sent.

(Ord. 2007-80s § 2 (part), 2007)

8.64.025 Duties of Alarm Users.

A.    An alarm user shall:

1.    Complete the Customer False Alarm Prevention Checklist available from their alarm installation company or through the Sheriff online website, and send the checklist to the Alarm Administrator.

2.    Maintain the alarm site and the alarm system in a manner that will minimize or eliminate false alarms;

3.    Make every reasonable effort to arrive at the alarm system's location within 30 minutes after being requested by the monitoring company or law enforcement agency in order to:

a.    Deactivate an alarm system;

b.    Provide access to the alarm site; and/or

c.    Provide alternative security for the alarm site.

4.    Provide to the monitoring company the names and telephone numbers of at least two individuals who are able and have agreed to:

a.    Receive notification of an alarm system activation at any time;

b.    Respond to the alarm site at any time in the presence of the Pierce County Sheriff; and

c.    Provide access to the alarm site and deactivate the alarm system, if necessary.

An alarm user will notify the monitoring company when this information changes.

5.    Not activate an alarm system for any reason other than an occurrence of an event that the alarm system was intended to report.

B.    An alarm user shall not use automatic voice dialers for any type of alarm system. No person shall operate or cause to be operated any automatic dialing device which, when activated, uses a telephone device or attachment to automatically select a telephone line leading into the Sheriff or transmit any prerecorded message or signal.

Waiver: An automatic voice dialer is allowed as long as it is not connected to the Sheriff. It may be used to alert the user only or others.

C.    An alarm user shall not use any type of alarm system that is rigged to produce a temporary disability or sensory deprivation through use of chemical, electrical, sonic or other means, including use of devices that obscure or disable one's vision.

D.    Installation of a protective-reactive device can only be done with the prior written approval of the Sheriff or his/her designee. During any alarm at such a site, a responsible party must be contacted and confirm that he or she will respond to the alarm site to disarm the device.

E.    After the effective date of this Chapter, an alarm user shall not operate or cause to be operated any alarm system capable of sending one plus duress alarms. Within 180 days of the effective date of this Chapter, all alarm users shall authorize their alarm installation company to reprogram all existing duress alarms which utilize a one plus duress code.

F.    After the effective date of this Chapter, an alarm user shall not operate or cause to be operated any alarm system with single action or non-recessed button robbery, duress, or panic devices. Within 180 days of the effective date of this Chapter, all alarm users shall authorize their alarm installation company to replace existing single-action devices with devices that have dual action at a minimum.

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

H.    All alarm users shall agree with their alarm installation company or monitoring company to go through an "acclimation period" for the first seven days after installation of an alarm system, during which time the alarm installation company or monitoring company will have no obligation to respond to, nor will it respond to, any alarm signal from the alarm site, or make an alarm dispatch request to law enforcement, even if the alarm signal is the result of an actual alarm event. Exceptions to the "acclimation period" of non-response can be made by the Sheriff in special circumstances, including but not limited to, domestic violence and stalking.

(Ord. 2007-80s § 2 (part), 2007)

8.64.030 Audible Alarms; Restrictions.

A.    After the effective date of this Chapter, it is a violation of this Chapter for any person to operate an alarm system in the County of Pierce that has a siren, bell or other signal audible from any property adjacent to the alarm site that sounds for longer than ten consecutive minutes after the alarm is activated, or that repeats the ten minute alarm cycle more than three consecutive times without resetting. Violators will be fined in accordance with the penalties for false alarms.

(Ord. 2007-80s § 2 (part), 2007)

8.64.035 Duties of Alarm Installation Companies and Monitoring Companies.

A.    Each alarm installation company and monitoring company must designate one individual as the Alarm Response Manager (ARM) for the company who will manage alarm related issues and act as the point of contact for the Alarm Administrator and Alarm Coordinator. The appointed individual must be knowledgeable of the general provisions of this Chapter, as well as have the knowledge and authority to deal with false alarm issues and respond to requests from the Alarm Administrator and Alarm Coordinator. The name, telephone number, and email address of the designated ARM must be provided to the Alarm Administrator. Failure to comply will result in the suspension of the alarm company business registration. A reinstatement fee of at least $100.00, or $10.00 per registered user if letters have been sent (per subsection 8.64.055 B.) whichever is the greater amount, will be charged. This will cover the administration action costs for this Chapter.

B.    Upon the installation or activation of an alarm system, the alarm installation company shall distribute to the alarm user information summarizing:

1.    The applicable law relating to false alarms, including the potential for penalties and revocation or suspension of an alarm registration;

2.    How to prevent false alarms; and

3.    How to operate the alarm system; and

4.    The Customer False Alarm Prevention Checklist available through the Sheriff online website.

C.    After the effective date of this Chapter, alarm installation companies shall not program alarm systems so that they are capable of sending one plus duress alarms. Within 180 days of the effective date of this Chapter, alarm installation companies shall reprogram all existing duress alarms which utilize a one plus duress code.

D.    Alarm installation companies shall not install single action or non-recessed button robbery, duress, or panic devices, and within 180 days of the effective date of this Chapter, replace existing single-action devices with devices that have dual action at a minimum.

E.    Ninety days after the effective date of this Chapter, an alarm installation company shall, on new installations, use only alarm control panel(s) which meet ANSI/SIA CP 01 – Control Panel Standard – Features for False Alarm Reduction.

F.    An alarm company shall not use an automatic voice dialer which calls the Sheriff or Sheriff's designee, for any alarm system.

G.    After completion of the installation of an alarm system, an employee of the alarm installation company shall review with the alarm user the customer false alarm prevention checklist or an equivalent checklist approved by the Alarm Administrator, giving the alarm user instructions to send the completed checklist to the Alarm Administrator.

H.    After completion of the installation of an alarm system, an employee of the alarm installation company shall complete the Installer False Alarm Prevention Program Checklist, and send the completed checklist to the Alarm Administrator.

I.    A monitoring company shall not make an alarm dispatch request to an alarm signal during the first seven-day "acclimation period" after an alarm system installation. Exceptions to the "acclimation period" of non-response can be made by the Sheriff in special circumstances, including but not limited to, domestic violence and stalking.

J.    A monitoring company shall employ "Verified Response" and:

1.    Report alarm signals by using telephone numbers designated by the Alarm Administrator, ensuring they have received two or more alarm signals during the same alarm event (10) minutes.

2.    Employ "Enhanced Call Verification" by attempting to verify by telephone the validity of every alarm signal, except duress or holdup alarm activation, before requesting law enforcement response to an alarm system signal. Verification before requesting law enforcement dispatch also requires that a second telephone call be made to a different phone number if the first attempt fails to reach an alarm user who can determine whether an alarm signal is valid. Names and telephone numbers of those persons contacted or attempted to be contacted must be provided to the Alarm Administrator, Alarm Coordinator or Sheriff upon request.

3.    Communicate alarm dispatch requests to the Sheriff in a manner and form determined by the Alarm Administrator.

4.    Communicate cancellations to the Sheriff in a manner and form determined by the Alarm Administrator.

5.    Ensure that all alarm users of alarm systems equipped with a duress, holdup or panic alarm are given adequate training as to the proper use of the alarm.

6.    Communicate any available information (north, south, front, back, floor, etc.) about the location of an alarm signal as part of an alarm dispatch request.

7.    Communicate the type of alarm activation (silent or audible, interior or perimeter), if available, on any alarm dispatch request.

8.    Installation of a protective-reactive device can only be done with the prior written approval of the Sheriff or his/her designee. During any alarm at such a site, a responsible party must be contacted and confirm that he or she will respond to the alarm site to disarm the device. In all cases where a protective-reactive device is present at an alarm site, the patrol dispatch request shall include a warning for deputies not to enter the alarm site until the responsible party is present and has disarmed the device. Failure to provide this warning to deputies shall result in a $200.00 fee to the monitoring company.

9.    Prior to making an alarm dispatch request, attempt to notify the alarm user to send a responsible party to the alarm site, in order to:

a.    Deactivate an alarm system;

b.    Provide access to the alarm site; and/or

c.    Provide alternative security for the alarm site.

10.    After an alarm dispatch request, promptly advise the Sheriff if the alarm company knows that the alarm user or a responsible party is on the way to the alarm site;

11.    Each monitoring company must maintain, for a period of at least one year after the date of an alarm dispatch request, all records relating to the alarm dispatch request. Records must include the name, address and telephone number of the alarm user, each alarm system zone activated, the time of alarm dispatch request and evidence of all attempts to verify. The Alarm Administrator or Alarm Coordinator may request copies of such records for any individual alarm user. If the request is made within 60 days after an alarm dispatch request, the monitoring company shall furnish requested records within three business days after receiving the request. If the records are requested between 60 days and 1 year after an alarm dispatch request, the monitoring company shall furnish the requested records within 30 days after receiving the request. Failure to comply will result in an immediate suspension of response and $1.00 per day per customer service fee.

12.    Each monitoring company shall, upon request, immediately provide the Sheriff with the names and phone numbers of the alarm user's emergency contacts at the time of each alarm dispatch request.

K.    Existing Accounts.

1.    Ninety days prior to the effective date of this Chapter, an alarm installation company or monitoring company shall provide the Alarm Administrator with a complete list of active customers, to assist the Alarm Administrator with creating and maintaining tracking data. The customer information must be provided as outlined in subsection 2. below.

2.    On or before the first day of January of each year, an alarm installation company or monitoring company shall provide the Alarm Administrator with a complete list of active customers in unincorporated Pierce County, to assist the Alarm Administrator with creating and maintaining tracking data. The customer information must be provided in a format the alarm company is capable of producing and must include the following:

a.    Customer name;

b.    Customer billing address (must be CASS Certified);

c.    Customer telephone number;

d.    Alarm site address (must be CASS Certified); and

e.    Alarm company license number.

L.    Purchased Accounts. An alarm installation company or monitoring company that purchases any alarm system account from another company shall notify the Alarm Administrator of such purchase and shall provide to the Alarm Administrator, within 30 days from the date of acquisition, a complete list of the acquired customers, in a format the alarm company is capable of producing, that includes the following:

1.    Customer name;

2.    Customer billing address (must be CASS Certified);

3.    Customer telephone number;

4.    Alarm site address (must be CASS Certified); and

5.    Alarm company license number.

M.    The customer lists described in subsections K. and L. above are proprietary and confidential information and will not be released to anyone absent a court order.

N.    Failure to provide customer lists to the Alarm Administrator, as required in subsections K. and L. above, will result in a fine of $25.00 per working day until the alarm installation company or monitoring company complies with the requirement. Failure to pay this fine will result in the immediate suspension of their business registration.

(Ord. 2007-80s § 2 (part), 2007)

8.64.040 Business Registration of Alarm Installation and Monitoring Companies.

A.    Every alarm installation company and every monitoring company shall obtain a business registration from the Sheriff Alarm Administrator and pay an annual fee of $100.00 to Pierce County. Failure to pay the annual fee within 30 days after notice requires the payment of a late fee of $25.00.

B.    The Sheriff will not respond to any alarm dispatch request from any alarm installation company or monitoring company that does not possess a current, valid business registration issued pursuant to this Chapter.

C.    The Alarm Administrator shall notify all known alarm users subscribing to an unregistered alarm installation company or an unregistered monitoring company that the company is unregistered and that the Sheriff will no longer respond to the user's alarms. A reinstatement fee of at least $100.00 or $10.00 per alarm user, if letters have been sent by the Alarm Administrator, whichever is the greater amount, will be charged to the alarm installation company or monitoring company. This will cover the administration action costs for this Chapter.

D.    The fee imposed by this Chapter is in addition to all other fees levied by Pierce County.

(Ord. 2007-80s § 2 (part), 2007)

8.64.045 Duties and Authority of the Alarm Administrator.

A.    The Alarm Administrator shall:

1.    Designate the manner and form of alarm dispatch requests and the telephone numbers to be used for such requests; and

2.    Establish a procedure to accept cancellation of alarm dispatch requests.

B.    The Alarm Administrator shall establish a procedure to acquire and record information on alarm dispatch requests including the following information:

1.    Identification of the alarm site;

2.    The date and time alarm dispatch request was received, including the name of the monitoring company and the monitoring operator's name or number;

3.    Date and time of a deputy's arrival at the alarm site;

4.    The alarm zone and zone description, if available;

5.    Name of alarm user's personal representative present at the alarm site, if any;

6.    Whether a deputy was unable to locate the address of the alarm site; and

7.    The cause of the alarm signal, if known.

C.    The Alarm Administrator shall establish and implement a procedure to notify the alarm user of a false alarm. The notice shall include the following:

1.    The date and time of a deputy's response to the false alarm; and

2.    A statement urging the alarm user to ensure that the alarm system is properly operated, inspected, and serviced in order to avoid false alarms and resulting false alarm fees.

3.    The false alarm fees incurred.

D.    The Alarm Administrator may require that a conference be held with an alarm user and the alarm installation company or monitoring company responsible for repairing or monitoring of the alarm system to review the circumstances of each false alarm. The conference may be held in person or through a conference telephone call, at the Alarm Administrator's discretion. Failure to participate by any of the notified parties will result in suspension of their alarm user registration or the alarm company business registration after a written notice has been sent.

E.    The Alarm Administrator may establish an alarm user awareness class. The Alarm Administrator may request the assistance of associations, alarm companies and law enforcement agencies in developing and implementing the class. The class shall inform alarm users of the problems created by false alarms and teach alarm users how to avoid creating false alarms.

F.    If a false holdup alarm has occurred and the alarm was triggered using a single action, non-recessed button, the Alarm Administrator may consider a waiver of the false alarm fee if action is taken by the alarm user to remove or replace the single action, non-recessed button.

G.    The Alarm Administrator will make a copy of this Chapter and/or a summary sheet available to each alarm user.

(Ord. 2007-80s § 2 (part), 2007)

8.64.050 False Alarm Fees.

A.    An alarm user shall pay the following fees to the Alarm Administrator for Sheriff response to any false alarm or robbery alarm:

1.    General False Alarm Fee: $100.00 for each false alarm;

2.    Robbery False Alarm Fee: $200.00 for each false alarm;

3.    If a false alarm fee is not paid within 30 days after the invoice is mailed, a late fee to the alarm user in the amount of $25.00 shall be imposed.

B.    Fees for False Alarms by Unregistered Alarm Systems. In addition to the fees set forth in subsection A. above, a supplemental fee is hereby imposed upon any person operating an unregistered alarm system in the amount of $100.00 for each false alarm. The Alarm Administrator may waive this additional fee for an unregistered system if the alarm user submits an application for alarm registration within ten business days after receiving notice of such violation.

C.    If cancellation of Sheriff response occurs prior to a deputy arriving at the alarm site, the response is not considered a false alarm for the purpose of fees, and no penalty will be assessed.

D.    The Alarm Administrator may waive a false alarm fee due to a history of false alarms that is identified as chronic equipment failure.

E.    The alarm installation company shall be assessed a fee of $100.00 if the deputy responding to the false alarm determines that an on-site employee of the alarm installation company directly caused the false alarm. Such false alarms are not included in the total number of false alarms for the alarm user.

F.    A fee of $100.00 is hereby imposed against any monitoring company that fails to verify alarm system signals as required in PCC 8.64.035.

G.    A fee in the amount of $200.00 is hereby imposed on an alarm installation company if the Alarm Administrator determines that an employee of the alarm installation company knowingly made a false statement concerning the inspection of an alarm site or the performance of an alarm system.

H.    Notice of the right of appeal under this Chapter will be included with notice of any penalty.

(Ord. 2007-80s § 2 (part), 2007)

8.64.055 Notice to Alarm Users of False Alarms and Suspension of Sheriff Response.

A.    The Alarm Administrator shall notify the alarm user in writing after each false alarm. The notice shall include the amount of the fee for the false alarm, the fact that response will be suspended after the third false alarm in a one-year registration period (excluding duress, holdup and panic alarms), and a description of the appeals procedure available to the alarm user.

B.    The Alarm Administrator shall notify the alarm user and the alarm installation company or monitoring company in writing thirty days before an alarm response is to be suspended. Suspension of alarm response does not apply to duress, robbery, holdup and panic alarms. The notice of suspension must also include the amount of the fee for each false alarm and a description of the appeals procedure available to the alarm user and the alarm installation company or monitoring company.

(Ord. 2007-80s § 2 (part), 2007)

8.64.060 Suspension of Sheriff Response to Alarm Sites.

A.    It is a violation of this Chapter to make an alarm dispatch request for a suspended alarm site.

B.    The Alarm Administrator shall notify the Sheriff and alarm installation company and/or monitoring company of each alarm user whose alarm registration qualifies for suspension under this Chapter. The Alarm Administrator shall suspend an alarm registration if it is determined that:

1.    The alarm user has had three or more false alarms within one year after the date of issuance of their annual registration, except that the Alarm Administrator may waive a suspension of a registration upon receipt of documented work orders showing numerous attempts to repair the alarm system;

2.    There is a false statement of a material fact in the application for a registration; or

3.    The alarm user fails or refuses to pay a false alarm fee or late fee assessed under this Chapter.

C.    It is unlawful for a monitoring company to make an alarm dispatch request to an alarm site after the company has been notified by the Alarm Administrator that the registration for that alarm site has been suspended. The monitoring company must pay a $200.00 fee to the Alarm Administrator for each such dispatch to an alarm site. If the penalty is not paid to the Alarm Administrator within 30 days, a late fee of $25.00 is hereby imposed on the alarm company.

D.    Unless there is a separate indication that there is a crime in progress, Emergency Communications (Dispatch) shall not dispatch a deputy to an alarm site for which an alarm registration is suspended.

E.    If an alarm registration is reinstated, the Sheriff may again suspend the alarm registration if it is determined that two false alarms have occurred within 180 days after the reinstatement date. The exception set forth in subsection B.1. applies to any such suspension.

F.    This subsection applies to alarm systems, except holdup alarms, robbery alarms and panic alarms, which are subject to suspension at the discretion of the Alarm Administrator.

(Ord. 2007-80s § 2 (part), 2007)

8.64.065 Appeals of Determinations Regarding Alarm Registrations and Fees.

A.    If the Alarm Administrator assesses a fee, suspends an alarm registration or denies the issuance, renewal or reinstatement of an alarm registration, the Alarm Administrator shall send written notice of the action and a statement of the right to appeal to the affected applicant or alarm user and the alarm installation company or monitoring company.

B.    The alarm user, alarm installation company or monitoring company may appeal any action described in A. above to the designated administrator of the Sheriff by setting forth in writing the reasons for the appeal and delivering the appeal to the Sheriff within 20 business days after receipt of notice of the action. Failure to deliver the appeal within that time period is a waiver of the right to appeal.

C.    The procedure for an appeal to the Sheriff is as follows:

1.    The applicant, alarm user, alarm installation company or monitoring company may file a written request for appeal by paying an appeal fee of $50.00 to the Sheriff and setting forth the reasons for the appeal. The appeal must be entitled "Appeal from Alarm Administrator's Action." Appeal fees will be returned to the appealing party if the appeal is successful. Upon good cause shown, the designated administrator of the Sheriff may, in the exercise of discretion, waive the appeal fee for residential alarm users.

2.    The designated administrator of the Sheriff shall conduct a recorded hearing within 30 days after receipt of the request for review and shall consider the evidence submitted by the appealing party and the Alarm Administrator. The designated administrator of the Sheriff must base his/her decision on the preponderance of evidence presented at the hearing and must render a decision within 15 days after the date of the hearing.

The decision shall affirm or reverse the decision or action taken by the Alarm Administrator.

3.    Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Sheriff or the designated administrator may appeal in accordance with the procedure set forth in Chapter 1.22 PCC.

4.    Filing of an appeal stays any action by the Alarm Administrator to suspend an alarm registration or require the payment of a fee or penalty until the appeal process has been exhausted. This provision applies only to the action of the Alarm Administrator that is the subject of the appeal. This provision does not operate as a bar to enforcement action on violations of this Chapter that occur thereafter.

D.    The Alarm Administrator or the Sheriff or their respective designees, may adjust the count of false alarms based on:

1.    Evidence that a false alarm was caused by action of the telephone company;

2.    Evidence that a false alarm was caused by a power outage;

3.    Evidence that an alarm dispatch request was not a false alarm; or

4.    The occurrence of multiple alarms within in a 24-hour period, which may be considered as one false alarm to allow the alarm user time to take corrective action, unless the false alarms are directly caused by the alarm user; or

5.    On review of fees or penalties assessed to an alarm installation company or monitoring company, the Alarm Administrator, or, if appealed, the Sheriff, or designee, or the administrative hearing officer, may consider whether the alarm company had engaged in a consistent pattern of violations.

(Ord. 2007-80s § 2 (part), 2007)

8.64.070 Reinstatement of Suspended Alarm Registrations.

A.    On the first suspension of a registration, a person whose alarm registration has been suspended may obtain reinstatement of the registration by the Alarm Administrator if the person:

1.    Submits a new application and pays a $50.00 reinstatement fee; and

2.    Pays, or otherwise resolves, all outstanding fees and penalties; and

3.    Submits a certification from an alarm installation company stating that the alarm system has been inspected and repaired (if necessary) by the alarm installation company; and

4.    The alarm user successfully completes an on-line alarm awareness class and test.

B.    On the second and every subsequent suspension of a registration, reinstatement may be obtained by compliance with subsection A. above and compliance with any of the following conditions that the Alarm Administrator may require:

1.    Proof that an employee of the alarm installation company or monitoring company caused the false alarm.

2.    Upgrade the alarm control panel to meet SIA Control Panel Standard CP-01.

3.    A written statement from an independent inspector designated by the Sheriff that the alarm system has been inspected and is in good working order.

4.    Confirmation that all motion detectors are "dual technology" type.

5.    Confirmation that the alarm system requires two independent zones to trigger before transmitting an alarm signal to the monitoring company.

6.    Confirmation that the alarm system requires two independent detectors to trigger before transmitting an alarm signal to the monitoring company.

7.    Certification that the monitoring company will not make an alarm dispatch request unless the need for law enforcement response is confirmed by voice verification.

8.    Certification that the monitoring company will not make an alarm dispatch request unless the need for law enforcement response is confirmed by a camera device. This condition does not apply to residential property.

9.    Certification that the monitoring company will not make an alarm dispatch request unless the need for law enforcement is confirmed by a person at the alarm site.

10.    The alarm user successfully completes an on-line alarm awareness class and test.

C.    The Sheriff shall reinstate its response to an alarm site as soon as is practicable after receiving notice of reinstatement from the Alarm Administrator.

(Ord. 2007-80s § 2 (part), 2007)

8.64.075 Revocation of Alarm User Registration and Business Registration.

A.    The Sheriff or designee may revoke an alarm user registration, alarm installation company registration or monitoring company registration if he determines that:

1.    There is a violation of this Chapter by the alarm user, alarm installation company or monitoring company;

2.    There is a false statement of a material fact in the application for a registration;

3.    The registered alarm system has generated more than 12 false alarms during any 12-month period; or

4.    The alarm user, alarm installation company or monitoring company has failed to pay an alarm registration fee or late fee, a late renewal fee or any fee or penalty assessed under this Chapter, more than 30 days after the fee is due.

B.    The Sheriff or designee may, for good cause shown, reinstate a registration that has been revoked pursuant to this Chapter.

(Ord. 2007-80s § 2 (part), 2007)

8.64.080 Confidentiality of Alarm Information.

A.    All information contained in documents gathered through alarm registrations, the submission of customer lists and in the alarm appeal process must be held in confidence by all employees of the Alarm Administrator and the County of Pierce. Such information is proprietary and is hereby declared confidential. A disclosure of such information would violate the customer's right to privacy and could endanger that person's right to safety. Absent special circumstances, such information must not be released to the public or any person other than a law enforcement agency or the applicable alarm user, alarm installation company or monitoring company, except pursuant to court order.

(Ord. 2007-80s § 2 (part), 2007)

8.64.085 Scope of Sheriff Duty; Immunities Preserved.

A.    The issuance of alarm registrations does not create a contract between the Sheriff and/or the County of Pierce and any alarm user, alarm installation company or monitoring company, nor does it create a duty or obligation, either expressed or implied, on the Sheriff to respond to any alarm. Any and all liability and consequential damage resulting from the failure of the Sheriff to respond to an alarm dispatch request is hereby disclaimed and full governmental immunity as provided by law is retained. By applying for an alarm registration, the alarm user acknowledges that the Sheriff response is influenced by the availability of deputies, priority of calls, traffic conditions, emergency condition and staffing levels.

(Ord. 2007-80s § 2 (part), 2007)

8.64.090 Service Charges.

A.    Service charges for monitored alarm sites will be assessed to the alarm user, alarm installation company or monitoring company as specified in the provisions of this Chapter. Service charges for unmonitored alarm sites will be assessed to the alarm user.

(Ord. 2007-80s § 2 (part), 2007)