Concord, CA 94524

Alarm Ordinance

Title 8, Chapter 8.24 - BURGLAR ALARMS 8.24.010 - Title

This chapter may be known as the "burglary and robbery alarm permit ordinance." (Prior code § 8150)

8.24.020 Purpose. (Prior code § 8151)

The purpose of this chapter is to set forth regulations governing burglary and robbery alarm systems, and alarm company operators within the city, require permits therefor, establish fees, and provide for punishment of violations of provisions of this chapter. 

8.24.030 Definitions. (Prior code § 8152)

For the purpose of this chapter, certain words and phrases shall be construed herein as set forth in this section, unless it is apparent from the context that a different meaning is intended:

Alarm company operator means any person required to be licensed as such by the Alarm Company Act of the state of California, as amended.

Alarm subscriber means a person who owns, leases, rents, uses or makes available for use by his or her agents, employees, representatives or family, any alarm system.

Alarm system means an assembly of equipment and devices arranged to signal the presence of a hazard requiring urgent attention and to which the police are expected to respond.

Applicant means a person, firm or corporation who, or which files an application for a new, renewal or reinstated permit as provided in this chapter.

Audible alarm means an alarm system which generates an audible sound on the premises when it is actuated.

City means city of Montebello.

Day means calendar day.

Direct-dial service means an alarm system which is connected to a telephone line and which, upon activation, automatically transmits a message or signal over the telephone lines.

False alarm means an alarm signal activated by causes other than the hazard which the alarm system is arranged to detect.

Finance department means the finance department of the city of Montebello.

Non Emergency response status means that category in which an alarm is placed as a result of permit revocation, whereas any subsequent activations shall be reduced to the lowest response status of the police department's calls for service. This condition shall remain until the false alarm problem has been resolved.

Notice means written notice, given by personal service upon the addressee, or given by the United States mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the person to be notified at his last known address. Service of such notice shall be effective upon the completion of personal service, or upon deposit of the notice in the United States mail.

Permittee means any person who shall be granted a permit as provided herein, and it agents and representatives.

Person means natural person, firm, partnership, association or corporation.

Police chief means the police chief of the city of Montebello.

Police department means the police department of the city of Montebello.

Proprietor alarm means an alarm which is not serviced by an alarm company operator.

Residence means the premises occupied by a person or persons as a regular place of abode.

Subscriber means any person who purchases, leases, contracts for or otherwise obtains an alarm system or for the servicing maintenance of an alarm system from an alarm business.

8.24.040 Applicability. (Prior code § 8155)

Any person who, on the effective date of this chapter, possesses, has installed, or uses an alarm system which requires a permit under the provisions thereof, shall apply for a permit as provided herein within ninety days after the effective date of this chapter.

8.24.050 Exemptions of automobile alarms.  (Prior code § 8156)

The provisions of this chapter are not applicable to audible alarms affixed to automobiles.

8.24.060 Exemptions of governmental agencies.  (Prior code § 8167)

The United States Government, the state of California, counties, municipal corporations, departments thereof and other governmental entities are exempt in this chapter.

8.24.070 Registration of alarm company operators. (Prior code § 8153)

No person shall engage in business, manage, conduct or operate as an alarm company operator in the city without first registering with the city license division on appropriate forms and obtaining a business license therefor by providing the following information:

A. Name of the business, and if a corporation, its name, date and place of incorporation, and address of its principal place of incorporation, and address of its principal place of business, together with the name and business telephone number of the owner or manager and its state Alarm Company Act license number;

B. A list of the addresses, business and emergency telephone numbers of all central stations handling such person's accounts in the city;

C. Payment of the annual business license fee in the amount provided by resolution. 

8.24.080 - Alarm system U.C. permit. (Prior code § 8154)

No person shall possess or use an alarm system without first applying for and receiving an alarm permit therefor in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

8.24.090 Permit—Application—Forms. (Prior code § 8163)

Applications for all permits hereunder shall be filed with the finance department and shall be accompanied by the requisite fee. The fee is established to cover the cost of investigating and processing the applications and permits and is not refundable. The finance department shall prescribe the form of the application and request such information as is necessary to evaluate and act upon the permit application. The application for alarm systems shall specify the type of alarm system installed.

8.24.100 Permit—Issuing and approving authorities designated. (Prior code § 8172)

The issuing authority shall be the finance department. The approving authority shall be the police chief.

8.24.110 Permit—Reasons for denial—Issuance. (Prior code § 8164)

The alarm system permit shall be denied by the police chief if the alarm system does not comply with standards and regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter. The permit shall be issued to the person or subscriber using or possessing the alarm system at the installation premises.

8.24.120 Permit—Appeal from denial. (Prior code § 8165)

Any appeal of a decision by the police chief shall be filed with the city clerk within fifteen days after the date denial takes effect per this chapter. The appeal procedure will follow guidelines set forth in this chapter.

8.24.130 Permit—Renewal. (Prior code § 8166.a)

The fee for an alarm system permit shall be established by resolution, shall be renewable annually and shall not be prorated. No fees paid by the applicant shall be refundable.

8.24.140 Permit—Transfer. (Prior code § 8173)

An alarm permit issued under the provisions of this chapter shall not be assignable or transferable.

8.24.150 Permit—Display—Collection of fees. (Prior code § 8168)

The permit shall be kept on the premises where the alarm system is located. The finance department may issue an appropriate identification tag and establish requirements for its posting. Each permit shall be given a unique number. The finance department shall collect the permit application fee as provided in this chapter. No permit shall be issued or reinstated for any person until all alarm system permit fees due and owing are paid.

8.24.160 Notice of permit application information change. (Prior code § 8169)

Whenever any change occurs relating to the written information required by this chapter, the applicant or permittee shall give written notice thereof to the finance department within five days after such change.

8.24.170 Permit—Revocation—Grounds. (Prior code § 8177)

An alarm system permit may be revoked by the chief of police for any of the following reasons:

A. For the failure to observe any of the regulations or other provisions of this chapter;

B. If the alarm system for which the alarm system permit is issued emits more than six false alarms during any consecutive three hundred and sixty-five day period;

C. Where the applicant or permittee, his 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 or record to be filed with any city agency;

D. Any four false alarms indicating a violation of California Penal Code Section 211 within any consecutive three hundred sixty-five day period.

8.24.180 Revocation—Authority. (Prior code § 8174)

Any permit issued hereunder may be revoked by the chief of police on the grounds set forth herein.

8.24.190 Warning permit—Revocation. (Prior code § 8175)

The police department shall give written notice to the permittee and any alarm company operator indicated on the permit issued pursuant to this chapter within seventy-two hours after the fifth false alarm within a consecutive twelve-month period advising of the possible revocation of the permit pursuant to this chapter.

8.24.200 Permit—Revocation—Proceedings. (Prior code § 8176)

Upon evidence that any grounds for revocation exist, the chief of police shall give notice thereof to the permittee. The permit shall be revoked fifteen days following service of such notice unless, within that period, the permittee files an appeal to the city council as provided herein. In any event that such an appeal is filed, the alarm system will be placed on non emergency response status until the city council has determined the matter.

8.24.210 Permit revocation—Appeal. (Prior code § 8179)

A. In the event a notice of revocation has been given or reinstatement denied, the permittee may appeal to the city council by filing with the city clerk a statement, setting forth the facts and circumstances regarding the actions of the chief of police; provided, however, that such appeal shall be filed prior to the expiration of the fifteen-day period following the service of the notice of revocation.

B. The city clerk shall cause the appeal to be placed on the next available city council agenda and notify the permittee. The city council shall consider the appeal and may affirm, overrule, or modify the decision of the police chief. The decision of the city council shall be final.

C. A filing and processing fee in an amount to be set by resolution of the city council shall be required. All fees paid by permittee shall be nonrefundable.

8.24.220 Permit—Revocation—Surrender. (Prior code § 8180)

If any permit is revoked pursuant to this chapter, the permittee shall surrender the permit to the license division of the finance department.

8.24.230 Permit—Reinstatement—Conditions. (Prior code § 8178)

When a permit is revoked pursuant to this chapter, the permittee may have the permit reinstated and the alarm system taken off non emergency response status six months after the effective date thereof upon presenting evidence to the chief of police that he has taken steps which should eliminate false alarms and payment of the application fee, the chief of police may reinstate permits  upon conditions, including requiring that the permittee maintain a repair and maintenance agreement, which will in his judgment eliminate false alarms.B.A reinstatement fee of ten dollars, will be due and payable to the finance department, prior to reinstatement.

8.24.240 Permit—Reinstatement fee. (Prior code § 8166.b)

In the event of an alarm permit revocation, a reinstatement fee of ten dollars will be due and payable to the finance department, prior to reinstatement.

8.24.250 Additional duties of permittee. (Prior code § 8171)

A. The premises shall display the street address at or near the front of the premises and at other places where access is available, such as, from an alley or parking lot. The street address shall be clearly visible.

B. The permittee or permittee's designee shall respond to a premises following activation of an alarm constituting part or an alarm system for which a permit at the location has been issued hereunder. The response shall be made within a reasonable time and, in any event, within one hour after being requested to do so by the police department.

8.24.260 Operation of defective systems prohibited. (Prior code § 8158)

No person shall operate an alarm system which generates more than six false alarms in any twelve-month period. Multiple activations of an alarm system within a forty-eight hour period shall count as only one false alarm for the purpose of this chapter if the multiple activations are a result of the same mechanism defect in the system and the alarm subscriber submits written confirmation that the mechanical defect has been repaired or replaced within ten days of the activations.

8.24.270 Impermissible systems and uses. (Prior code § 8159)

A. No person shall operate or use any alarm system that emits a sound similar to that of a civil defense warming system.

B. No person shall operate an audible alarm which is not arranged so as to terminate emitting sound within thirty minutes of its being activated.

C. No person shall install, maintain or use a direct-dial service which is arranged in such a way as to dial any telephone number maintained by the city.

D. No person shall operate or use an alarm system designed to report a violation of Penal Code Section 211 for any purpose other than reporting robberies or other crimes involving potential bodily injury or death.

E. No person shall operate or use an alarm system for any purpose other than detecting and reporting an unauthorized entry upon the premises protected by such a system.

8.24.280 Causing a false alarm. (Prior code § 8157)

No person shall knowingly cause a false alarm. This section does not prohibit a test of an alarm system if permitted in advance by the police department.

8.24.290 False alarms—Determination—Proceedings. (Prior code § 8160.a)

If the police department determines that a false alarm has occurred, the police officer who responded to the alarm shall leave at the premises of the alarm subscriber a notice which shall include the date and time of the response and a statement that the responding officer determined that the alarm was a false alarm, and the alarm subscriber should take action to correct any causative problems with the alarm system, and a warning of six false alarms in any twelve-month period shall result in the alarm system being placed on non emergency response status. A copy of this notice shall be delivered to the issuing authority and filed with the alarm owner's permit. The alarm subscriber shall contest the determination of a false alarm by contacting the chief of police of the city, within five days of notification of permit revocation and the determination of the chief of police shall be final unless further procedures are available to the permittee under the procedures of this chapter.

8.24.300 False alarm—Service fee. (Prior code § 8160.b)

The third and any subsequent false alarm originating from the any premises within any three hundred sixty-five day period will result in service fee being imposed on the alarm user, which must be paid within thirty days after billing. The service fee shall be imposed in accordance with the amount(s) set by resolution of the city council.

8.24.310 False alarms—Submission of action plan. (Prior code § 8161)

After any false alarm, the alarm subscriber shall, upon request by the police department, submit a written report to the police department describing actions taken or to be taken to eliminate the cause of the false alarm. This report shall be submitted within ten days of the date of request by the police department.

8.24.320 False alarms—Adjustment period. (Prior code § 8162)

A thirty-day adjustment to correct mechanical problems will be allowed for any new, improved or replaced alarm system before the false alarm provisions of this chapter shall be applicable to such system if the permittee shows that any false alarm was the result of conditions beyond his control and not the result of his negligence or that of his agents or employees; provided, further, that the permittee can demonstrate that he neither knew of the defect in the alarm system, nor in the exercise of due care, should have known of such defect, such alarm shall not be deemed a false alarm within the meaning of this chapter.

8.24.330 Confidentiality. (Prior code § 8170)

The information furnished and secured pursuant to this chapter shall be confidential in character and shall not be subject to public inspection, and shall be kept so that the contents thereof shall not be known except to persons charged with the administration of this chapter.

8.24.340 Administration and enforcement. (Prior code § 8181)

The police department is directed to administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter.

8.24.350 Violation—Penalty. (Ord. 2285 § 5, 2005; prior code §§ 8182 and 8183)

A. Any person who violates or wilfully fails to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter is guilty of an infraction, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine not to exceed one hundred dollars and each such person shall be guilty of a separate offense for each and every day or portion thereof during which any violation of any of the provisions of this chapter is committed, continued or permitted.

B. The conviction or punishment of any person for violation of the provisions of this chapter or for failing to secure a permit as required by this chapter shall not relieve the person from paying the permit fee due and unpaid at the time of the conviction, nor shall payment of any permit fee prevent criminal prosecution for violation of any of the provisions of this chapter. All remedies shall be cumulative and the use of one or more remedies by the city shall not bar the use of any other remedy for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this chapter. The amount of any permit fee shall be deemed a debt to the city.

C. Notwithstanding any penalty provision provided in this chapter, any person violating any such provision in this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor; provided, that where the city attorney or city prosecutor (or in the case of a notice to appear, the citing official) determines that such action would be in the interests of justice, the city attorney or city prosecutor may prosecute any such offense as an infraction. In the event a notice to appear is prepared as a misdemeanor, the city attorney or city prosecutor may nonetheless prosecute any such offense as an infraction.