In 2013, the police department responded to 1,655 alarms. Of those responses, only three were actual emergencies. Studies have consistently shown that 99 percent of the alarms triggered are false alarms. False alarms are typically caused by user error, such as opening and closing errors, or equipment malfunctions. Each alarm response requires a minimum of two patrol officers and averages 20 minutes per officer, per alarm. As you can see, false alarms negatively affect the overall safety of the community by diverting officers from actual emergencies and other legitimate calls for service. 

Rules and regulations 

  • Alarm owners must obtain a yearly alarm permit from the police department.
  • Audible external alarm systems must reset within 30 minutes and stop sounding.
  • Alarms must have a battery backup power supply to assure continued operation should a power outage occur and prevent false alarms.
  • Alarm owners and users should know the procedure for canceling false alarms with their alarm companies.
  • All alarm permit fees are final and non-refundable.

Alarm permit duration and fees

In 2004, the City Council authorized the police department to require all alarmed premises, residential and commercial, to register for an alarm system permit. The alarm permit requires users to provide the police department with the names and phone numbers of three persons who can respond to the premise if the need arises. The alarm permit fee is $25 and expires yearly. Once the permit is approved a permit number will be provided to the alarm owner. Please apply online for your permit.

False alarms fees

The alarm ordinance encourages accountability and responsibility by charging alarm owners for false alarms. All fees are based on a yearly occurrence. Beginning July 1, 2018, the alarm owner is allowed one free false alarm yearly. The fee for the second false alarm occurrence for residential is $85.00 and increases for each additional occurrence by $5.00. High-risk alarms, such as bank robbery alarms are free for the first false alarm occurrence. The second false alarm occurrence is $170.00 and increases by $10.00 for each additional occurrence. Register your account online to easily manage your alarm account, which includes viewing the account balance, paying invoices and making changes.