For years the Police Department would send officers to several thousand alarm calls a year that would turn out to be “false alarms”. These “false alarms” were usually the result of a mechanical problem, employee error, or weather related. Officers were responding unnecessarily to incidents when their time could have been used more productively elsewhere in the city.
Since the inception of the Alarm Program in 1996, which is coordinated by a Community Service Officer (CSO), the number of “false alarms” has been reduced. Businesses and homeowners are now required to apply for an alarm permit issued by the police department. Alarm Installation companies are also required to meet quality control standards that have been established by the police department to ensure that their customers are receiving first rate service. Repeat offenders where the problem of false alarms is not corrected are billed for the police department’s emergency response. In 2001 offenders were fined $180,600 dollars and payment was made to the City’s Finance Department. In 2002 approximately $160,00 in fines was levied against noncompliant alarm locations.
The CSO assigned to the Alarm Unit meets frequently with alarm companies along with business owners and homeowners to assist them with their questions and problems. Training sessions are provided for citizens and business owners on the proper care and maintenance of their alarm systems. The unit will also assist with the proper placement of alarm sensors, control panels, etc. The incidents of false alarms has been significantly reduced in the last two years due to the training efforts. For more information, please contact CSO Taylor Carpenter at (408) 615-4744 or email@example.com