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| City Alarm Ordinance|
As more and more consumers choose to protect their homes and businesses with alarm systems, the number of false alarms continues to grow. In 2003, the Walnut Creek Police Department responded to 5,632 false alarms, an increase of 30% from the previous year. Our old municipal code had proven ineffective in discouraging false alarm use, so in 2004, we revised the ordinance to implement an alarm and permit tracking system and progressive series of penalties to reduce or eliminate false alarms. We also work with alarm users and alarm companies to maintain the operational reliability and proper use of their alarm systems.
Your responsibilities as a system owner:
- All alarm users must obtain an alarm use permit from the police department. Fill it out in its entirety and return it within 10 days to our department.
- Businesses must include a $25 yearly permit application fee. Business permits must be renewed yearly.
- There is no fee for residents to obtain the permit, and they do not expire unless there is a change in home ownership.
- Upon receipt of completed application and fee (if applicable), we will issue a permit for the designated premise.
This ordinance establishes mandatory user permits and fines and other sanctions for excessive numbers of false alarms. Here’s how it works:
- The police department will inform you by letter if your premise has had false alarms. If the premise has three (3) or more false alarms, fees are attached to the responses in $25.00 increments.
- Those premises who do not desire police response to alarms, do not obtain a permit or, do not pay fines associated with false alarm dispatches are placed on a non response status. All other types of calls for police response will continue.
- An alarm user may appeal an assessment of a fine by filing a written request for a hearing to the Alarm Review Board within ten (10) days after receipt of fine. The decision of the Board is final.
How to Reduce False Alarms
- Be sure to have a good quality alarm system that has been installed by a licensed alarm company.
- Continually train all of your employees or family members on the alarm system to ensure they will be familiar with the codes and how the system works.
- Have your alarm system tested on a regular basis.
- Have your alarm company provide you with a cancellation code and make sure all authorized users know it.
How can I get a permit?
The Walnut Creek Police Department will provide you with a complete alarm packet. The packet includes the city ordinance for false alarms, the alarm permit application, schedule of fees, appeal process and other pertinent information which will assist you in caring for your business or residential alarm.
Contact the Crime Prevention Coordinator at 943-5885, or by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org for any additional information