Cathedral City, CA Alarm System Ordinance
Chapter 8.28 SECURITY ALARM SYSTEMS
8.28.005 Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to establish standards and controls to reduce the incidents of false burglary and robbery alarm calls responded to by the police and fire departments. (Ord. 706§ 1, 2011)
For the purpose of this chapter, certain words and phrases used herein are defined as follows:
“Alarm agent” means any person who is self-employed or employed by an alarm business,either directly or indirectly, whose duties include any of the following:selling, maintaining, leasing, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing,moving, installing or monitoring any alarm system in or on any building, place,or premises.
“Alarm business” means any person, firm or corporation engaged in the selling,leasing, maintaining, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving, installing or monitoring of any alarm system or causing to be sold, maintained, serviced,repaired, altered, replaced, moved, installed or monitored an alarm system in or on any building, place or premises.
“Alarm system” means any device designed for the detection of an unauthorized entry into or on premises or for alerting others of the commission of an unlawful act, or both, and which when actuated emits a sound, causes a light or lights to come on or to flash, or transmits a signal or message to alert others to such unauthorized entry or intrusion..
“Alarm user” means a person contracting with an alarm business for the leasing, servicing or maintaining of an alarm system, or who owns, uses, or maintains a proprietor alarm.
“Audible alarm” means a device designed for the detection of an unauthorized entry on a premises and which, when actuated, generates a sound audible at and outside the premises.
“Diversion program” means any seminar, training, class, or course, approved by the chief of police or the fire chief, designed to educate and train persons in the proper installation, maintenance, and operation of alarms.
“False alarm” means an alarm signal which causes response by the police department where an emergency situation does not exist. “Response” means arrival at the location of the alarm. “False alarm”does not include an alarm signal activated by earthquake, flood, extraordinary weather conditions or other acts of God.
“Proprietor alarm” means an alarm which is not serviced by an alarm business.
“Silent alarm” means that type of alarm system which, when activated, sounds a bell or buzzer or turns on a light at a predesignated place other than the location where the alarm has been installed.(Ord. 706 § 1, 2011)
8.28.020 Exemptions—Special alarm systems.
The provisions of this chapter shall not be applicable to:
A. Audible alarms affixed to automobiles;
B. Fire or smoke sensor alarm systems or detectors when such systems are not used as,or in lieu of, intrusion detection devices or alarm systems;
C. Emergency medical crisis alarms when such systems are not used as, or in lieu of,intrusion detection devices or alarm systems. (Ord. 706 § 1, 2011)
8.28.025 Pre-existing systems.
The provisions of this chapter shall be applicable to all alarm systems, as defined in Section 8.28.010(C) and not specifically exempted by Section 8.28.020, within the city. All owners of alarm systems installed and operating prior to the adoption of the ordinance codified in this chapter shall have ninety days from the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter to obtain an alarm user’s permit pursuant to this chapter.(Ord. 706 § 1, 2011)
8.28.030 Administration, regulations and standards.
The provisions of this chapter shall be administered and enforced by the chief of police. He or she and his or her designees are authorized to make inspections of alarm systems and of the premises whereon or wherein such systems are located. He or she and his or her designees shall have the power to enforce such rules and regulations and standards as may be applicable pursuant to this chapter or other ordinance or law. (Ord. 706 § 1, 2011)
8.28.035 Alarm user’s permit.
A. No person shall install or cause to be installed, use or maintain an alarm, system on premises owned or in the possession or control of such person within the city without first having obtained an alarm user’s permit from the city in accordance with this section. The application for an alarm user’s permit shall be submitted on a form prescribed by the city and shall include:
1. The address of the premises where the system is to be located;
2. The name, address and telephone number of the applicant;
3. The name, address and telephone number of a second person who may be contacted in case of an emergency;
4. The name, address and telephone number of the person who will render service or repairs during any hour of the day or night.
B. The application shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable fee in such amount as established by resolution of the city council.
C. A separate alarm user’s permit shall be required for each premises of address on which an alarm system is used or installed. Alarm system permits shall not be transferable. A new alarm user’s permit shall be required whenever there is a change in a business’ name, ownership or location. With regard to an alarm system installed at a residence, a new alarm user’s permit shall be required whenever there is a change in ownership. For any change in occupants of a residence with an alarm system, the holder of the alarm user’s permit shall update the notification list as submitted to the city in his or her application to include the name(s) and telephone number of the new occupants.
D. If requested by the police department, the person(s) listed on the notification list in the permit application shall be required to be present at the alarm location within forty-five minutes after being advised that the police department has received any signal or message of alarm activation at that location.(Ord. 706 § 1, 2011)
8.28.040 Alarm user’s permit—Approval—Denial.
A. Approval.Upon finding the requested alarm user’s permit conforms to the provisions of this chapter and other applicable provisions of the Cathedral City Municipal Code, the police chief or designee may issue the alarm user’s permit. The applicant shall pay a permit fee as established by resolution of the city council.
B. Denial.The police chief or designee shall deny the alarm user’s permit if he or she determines any of the following:
1. The requested alarm user’s permit is in conflict with any provision of the Cathedral City Municipal Code;
2. The applicant, his or her employee or agent has knowingly made a false, misleading or fraudulent statement of a material fact in the application for a permit.
3. The applicant has failed to pay the application fee required by this chapter;
4. The applicant has had a similar permit revoked for good cause within the past year and has failed to show material change in the circumstances since the date of revocation.
C. Any such denial is final unless the applicant appeals the decision to the city manager. (Ord. 706 § 1, 2011)
8.28.045 Term of permit.
The alarm permit issued shall be valid for a period of one year. The permit will expire one year from the day of issuance, and shall be renewable upon receipt of an application and the alarm permit fee. The renewal fee shall be in an amount as established by resolution of the city council. (Ord. 706 § 1, 2011)
8.28.050 Revocation of alarm user’s permit.
A. Any alarm user’s permit may be revoked at any time at the option of the police chief or designee whenever:
1. The alarm user is in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter;
2. The alarm system activates three or more false alarms within any consecutive three hundred sixty-five day period;
3. The alarm user, or his or her employee or agent has knowingly made any false,misleading or fraudulent statement of a material fact in the application for a permit or in any report required to be filed with any city agency;
4. Immediately following an alarm activation, the alarm user or designated representative fails to respond within forty-five minutes to a request for access to the protected premises, upon request to do so by a police officer or a public safety dispatcher who deems a response necessary to insure the security of the premises or persons where the alarm system is installed.
B. If the police chief or designee believes grounds exist to revoke the permit, the police chief or designee shall serve the permittee with written notice of the intent to revoke the alarm user’s permit and the reasons for the intended revocation.The permittee shall have fifteen days from the date of issuance of this notice to respond and present evidence to the police chief or designee that he or she has corrected any deficiencies in the equipment or operation of the alarm system or that he or she has paid those fees owed to the city under this chapter. Within five days of the date on which the evidence is presented, the police chief or designee shall notify the permittee of the final decision. Absent any showing by the permittee, the police chief shall issue an order of revocation. The order of revocation shall be effective immediately if personally served on the permittee, or seventy-two hours after the order has been sent by certified mail addressed to the permittee at his or her last known address.
C. Upon revocation of an alarm user’s permit, the police department will not respond to alarms from the alarm system(s) if the revocation was a result of excessive false alarms or defective equipment. The city may charge for responses based on the fees set forth in this chapter.
D. The decision of the police chief shall be final. (Ord. 706 § 1, 2011)
8.28.055 Reissuance of alarm user’s permit.
A. After revocation of an alarm user’s permit, no new user’s permit shall be issued for the premises until written proof of correction is provided to the police chief and the alarm system is determined to be in an acceptable working order. Acceptance and approval of the written proof of correction shall be the responsibility of the police chief or designee. If a reissued permit is revoked, no new alarm user’s permit may be issued for the same premises until a new or remodeled alarm system is installed which meets all standards required in this chapter.
B. An additional fee as set forth by resolution of the city council shall be required prior to the reissuing of an alarm user’s permit after the original permit has been revoked. (Ord. 706 § 1, 2011)
8.28.060 Intrusion alarms—Turnoff/requirements.
No alarm agency or alarm business shall install and no alarm user shall possess or maintain an audible alarm which does not contain a means to effect an automatic turnoff of the alarm within ten minutes after it is first activated. (Ord. 706 § 1, 2011)
8.28.065 False alarms.
A. No person shall maintain, use or possess an operative alarm system, proprietor alarm, or audible alarm in such a way that it signals or sounds an excessive number of false alarms.
B. For purposes of this section, excessive false alarms means the second or subsequent false alarm in any three hundred and sixty-five day period.
C. The chief of police may require from the appropriate person using, servicing,possessing or maintaining a faulty alarm system, proprietor alarm, or audible alarm, a report in writing (within such reasonable period as is specified by the chief of police) describing the corrective action which has and will betaken to assure that violation of this section will not recur. (Ord. 706 § 1,2011)
8.28.070 False alarm response fees.
A. In addition to the fees stated herein, an alarm user shall become liable to the city for an administrative fine if the police department is required to respond to repeated false burglary alarms emitted by the user’s alarm system. A false alarm response administrative fine shall be paid to the city by the alarm user for each false burglary alarm commencing with the second false alarm received from any one source or from any one alarm system within any consecutive three hundred sixty-five day period. No false alarm administrative fine shall be charged for false alarms occurring within thirty days following initial installation of any new alarm system provided the system otherwise complies with the requirements of this chapter. Multiple false fire, emergency medical,and/or burglary alarm calls received in any one twenty-four hour period shall be considered a single event for the purpose of assessing a administrative fine.
B. A false robbery alarm response administrative fine shall be paid by the alarm user to the city for every false robbery alarm commencing with the second or any subsequent false robbery alarm received from any one source or from any one alarm system within any consecutive three hundred sixty-five day period.
C. Any fire, emergency medical, and/or burglar alarm which causes more than eight false alarms, or robbery alarm which causes more than four false alarms, shall be deemed a public nuisance, and will be subject to revocation of permit as specified in Section 8.28.035 of this chapter.
D. A response to a non-permitted fire, emergency medical, burglar, or robbery alarm,whether false or valid, shall result in a non-permitted alarm administrative fine. If an alarm user’s permit is applied for within thirty days of the response to a non-permitted burglary or robbery alarm, the non-permitted alarm administrative fine shall be waived.
E. All administrative fines levied pursuant to this chapter shall be paid to the city within thirty days from the date of the invoice by the holder of the alarm user’s permit or the owner of the premises upon which the alarm system is located if no permit has been issued for the alarm system.
F. Should a non-permitted false burglar alarm frequency reach more than eight or anon-permitted false robbery alarm reach more than four in any three hundred sixty-five day period and the alarm user fail to pay all administrative fines due to the city within the time specified by this section, the person responsible for such alarm location shall be notified by both certified mail,return receipt requested, and regular mail that the police department will no longer respond to alarms at that location. The notification shall be effective ten days after service.
G. An administrative fine assessed for a second false alarm occurring with any three hundred sixty-five day period pursuant to the provisions of subsection A or B of this section shall be waived, if the person liable for such assessment successfully completes a diversion program.
H. Anyone appealing an administrative fine assessed under this section shall follow the procedures listed in Section 13.58.070 of the Municipal Code.
I. Any permitted alarm user cited for violating this chapter for each separate violation shall be subject to: (1) an administrative fine in the amount of one hundred dollars for the second false alarm within a three hundred and sixty-five day period; (2) an administrative fine in the amount of one hundred fifty dollars for the third false alarm within a three hundred and sixty-five day period; and (3) an administrative fine in the amount of two hundred dollars for the fourth and subsequent false alarm(s) within a three hundred and sixty five day period.
J. Any non-permitted alarm user cited for violating this chapter for each separate violation shall be subject to: (1) an administrative fine in the amount of one hundred dollars for the first false alarm within a three hundred and sixty-five day period; (2) an administrative fine in the amount of one hundred fifty dollars for the second false alarm within a three hundred and sixty-five day period; and (3) an administrative fine in the amount of two hundred dollars for the third and subsequent false alarm(s) within a three hundred and sixty five day period. (Ord. 706 § 1, 2011)
8.28.075 Instruction as to operation of systems.
It shall be the responsibility of the alarm business and no such person shall fail, refuse or neglect, to instruct the alarm user in the use and operation of such device or alarm, whether silent or audible, including specifically all necessary instruction in turning off said alarm, and that intentionally activating an alarm in the absence of an emergency is a criminal offense under Section 148.3 of the California Penal Code. (Ord. 706 § 1, 2011)
8.28.080 Alarm systems terminating at police department.
No alarm system shall be installed which,when activated, causes an alarm or signal to be sent directly to the police department or any facility thereof, unless and until written permission therefore is received from the chief of police. (Ord. 706 § 1, 2011)
8.28.090 Automatic calling devices.
No person other than an authorized agent of the police department shall use, maintain, operate, or attempt to use or operate, or cause to be used or operated any alarm system or other device or combination of devices that is arranged, adjusted or programmed so that it will upon activation, either mechanically, electronically or by other automatic means,initiate, call and deliver a recorded message to any telephone number assigned to the city or its police department or to any radio frequency used thereby.(Ord. 706 § 1, 2011)
8.28.120 Public nuisance.
Any violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute a public nuisance which shall be subject to the provisions set forth in Chapter 13.80. (Ord. 706 § 1, 2011)
8.28.130 Infraction violation.
Any violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute an infraction violation which shall be subject to the provisions set forth in Chapter 13.65, including, but not limited to, the imposition of any and all criminal penalties set forth therein. (Ord. 706 § 1,2011)
8.28.140 Civil fines.
Any person convicted of an infraction shall, for each separate violation of this chapter, be subject to: (1) a fine in an amount not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars for a first conviction of an offense; (2) a fine in an amount not to exceed five hundred dollars for a second conviction of the same offense within a twelve-month period of the date of the first offense; and (3) a fine in an amount not to exceed seven hundred fifty dollars for the third conviction of the same offense within a twelve-month period of the date of the first offense. The fine for a fourth and subsequent convictions of the same offense within a twelve-month period of the date of the first offense shall be one thousand dollars. (Ord. 706 § 1, 2011)
8.28.170 Modification, suspension and/or revocation of validly issued permit and/or license.
Any violation of this chapter by the holder of any city permit and/or city license validly issued pursuant to this or any other chapter shall constitute grounds for modification, suspension and/or revocation of said permit and/or license pursuant to the provisions set forth in Chapter 13.150. (Ord. 706 § 1, 2011)
8.28.180 Additional remedies.
Nothing in this chapter shall preclude the city from pursuing the remedies provided by Chapter 13.140, including, but not limited to, as applicable, denial or revocation of certificates of occupancy, issuance or stop work orders and injunctive relief. (Ord. 706 § 1,2011)