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The Sacramento Sheriff's Department spends considerable time and resources each year responding to false burglary and robbery alarms which detract from its ability to respond to actual emergencies. Nearly 98% of all alarm activations are false. In 1997, responding to approximately 28,000 false alarms cost Sacramento County taxpayers more than one million dollars and about 12,000 patrol hours. When a deputy responds to a false alarm call, he or she is unable to respond to a legitimate emergency in another part of the county.

The purpose of the Alarm Ordinance is to assist the Sheriff's Department in effectively responding to law enforcement needs and to encourage manufacturers and alarm system users to better construct and maintain alarm systems. This Ordinance does not (and is not intended to) recover all costs associated with responding to false alarms but is intended to encourage responsible use of alarms in order to reduce the number of false activations.

The Alarm Ordinance is modeled after local laws that are implemented in other jurisdictions. The Private Sector Liaison Committee completed a study of the issues related to false alarms and the impact on the community, private sector and law enforcement.

The Sacramento Sheriff's Department is committed to a continued partnership with the citizens of Sacramento County and alarm companies in a shared goal of protecting the families and property of Sacramento County residents.

CHAPTER 9.96

EMERGENCY ALARMS Sections:

9.96.010 Purpose.
9.96.015 Alarm Company.
9.96.020 Alarm Site.
9.96.025 Alarm System.
9.96.030 False Alarm.
9.96.035 Automatic Dialing Device.
9.96.040 Central Station.
9.96.045 Direct Line.
9.96.046 Enhanced Call Verification.
9.96.050 Interconnect.
9.96.055 Modified Central Station.
9.96.060 Person.
9.96.065 Primary Trunkline.
9.96.070 County or Sacramento County.
9.96.075 Siren.
9.96.080 Special Trunkline.
9.96.081 Verified Burglar Alarm.
9.96.085 Permit Required.
9.96.090 Application for Permit.
9.96.095 Required Information.
9.96.100 Permit Fee.
9.96.105 Permit Duration and Information Changes.
9.96.106 Permit Renewal
9.96.110 False Alarms.
9.96.115 Suspension of Permit.
9.96.120 Hearing Rights.
9.96.125 Hearing Officer.
9.96.130 Hearing.
9.96.135 Other Regulations.
9.96.136 Duties of Alarm Company
9.96.137 Duties of the Alarm User
9.96.140 Automatic Dialing Device Connections.
9.96.145 Robbery or Panic Alarms.
9.96.150 Testing or Maintenance.
9.96.155 Public Nuisance.
9.96.160 Alarm Company Responsibilities.
9.96.161 Maintaining and Providing Specified Information.
9.96.165 Violation of Chapter.
9.96.170 County Liability.
Alarm Bureau Fee Schedule

9.96.010 PURPOSE. The inefficiency resulting from responses by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department to false alarms detracts from its ability to respond to bona fide emergencies. In order to improve the ability of the Sheriff to effectively respond to law enforcement needs, and to encourage alarm system users, lessors, sellers and manufacturers to better construct and maintain alarm systems in the unincorporated area of the County, an alarm permit requirement is hereby imposed on all alarm system users, hereinafter set forth. An enhanced call verification process is hereby imposed on all alarm companies, as hereinafter set forth. Nothing in this ordinance shall be construed to require any Sheriff's Department response to alarm devices. The issuance of an alarm permit does not entitle the holder to any special level of Sheriff's Department service to an alarm device. All Sheriff's Department responses to alarm devices will be made in accordance with the alarm response policy established by the Sheriff. (SCC 1086 § 1, 1997; SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.015 ALARM COMPANY means any person, firm, partnership or corporation, or other association conducting or engaged in the business of selling, leasing, maintaining, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving, installing or monitoring alarm systems within Sacramento County, including any school or government agency, department or district. (SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.020 ALARM SITE means an identifiable and detached building with a separate alarm system, or an individual business premises or residence within a building, having a separate alarm system. (SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.025 ALARM SYSTEM means a device or system that emits, transmits, or relays, when tripped, a signal intended to summon, or that could reasonably be expected to summon, police services of the County. Alarm system does not include:

(1) An alarm installed on a vehicle, unless the vehicle is permanently located at a site; nor

(2) An alarm which by design only alerts the occupants of a residence or business premises; nor

(3) Alarm devices installed on a temporary basis by the Sheriff's Department. (SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.030 FALSE ALARM. "False Alarm" means the activation of an alarm system which precipitates a response by police services of Sacramento County when police services are not required. False alarms do not include alarms resulting from violent acts of nature, such as earthquakes, gale force winds, or tornadoes. (SCC 1086 § 2, 1997; SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.035 AUTOMATIC DIALING DEVICE means an alarm system which automatically sends over regular telephone lines, by direct connection or otherwise, a prerecorded voice message indicating the existence of the emergency situation that the alarm system is designed to detect. (SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.040 CENTRAL STATION means an office to which alarm systems are connected, where operators supervise the circuits, and where guards and/or servicemen are maintained continuously to investigate signals. (SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.045 DIRECT LINE means a telephone line leading directly from a central station to the Communications Center of the Sheriff's Department, where said line is used only to report emergency signals on a person-to- person basis. (SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.046 ENHANCED CALL VERIFICATION means a process by which alarm companies attempt to verify the legitimacy of a burglar alarm activation prior to requesting public safety dispatch.  Enhanced call verification requires alarm companies to make a minimum of two phone calls prior to making a request for police services by Sacrament County:  one to the alarm site and the second to a different telephone number where a responsible party can typically be reached, preferably a cell phone number.

9.96.050 INTERCONNECT means to connect an alarm system to a telephone line, either directly or through a mechanical device that utilizes a standard telephone for the purpose of using the telephone line to transmit an emergency message upon the activation of the alarm system. (SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1,1986).

9.96.055 MODIFIED CENTRAL STATION means an office to which alarm systems are connected where operators supervise the circuits, but where guards are not maintained to investigate alarm systems. (SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.060 PERSON means an individual, corporation, partnership, association, organization, school district, government agency or similar entity. (SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.065 PRIMARY TRUNKLINE means any telephone line, including 911 emergency lines, leading directly into the Communications Center of the Sheriff's Department for the purpose of handling emergency calls on a person- to-person basis, and which is identified as such by a specific number included among the emergency numbers listed in the telephone directory issued by the telephone company, covering the service area within the Sheriff's Department's jurisdiction. (SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.070 COUNTY or SACRAMENTO COUNTY means that political subdivision of the State of California by the same name or, as the case may be, all areas within the County as defined in the California Government Code, Title 3, Section 23134, excluding the incorporated cities of Galt, Isleton, Folsom, and Sacramento. (SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.075 SIREN means any audible noise similar to that which must be sounded by an authorized emergency vehicle under the conditions set forth in Section 21055 of the California Vehicle Code. (SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.080 SPECIAL TRUNKLINE means a telephone line leading into the Communications Center of the Sheriff's Department and having the primary purpose of handling emergency messages originating through a central station, modified central station or answering service. (SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.081 VERIFIED BURGLAR ALARM means confirmation of an unauthorized entry or attempted unauthorized entry upon the premises, building, or structure protected by the burglar alarm system.  Verification may be made by the alarm system user or other person at or near the scene of the activation, a private guard responder or alarm company operator, and shall be based on a physical observation or inspection of the premises, or by remote visual inspection of the premises.  For purposes of this definition, remote visual inspection of the premises is a visual inspection of premises protected by the burglar alarm system which is accomplished through the use of a video camera or other similar device to capture and transmit visual images of the premises to the alarm system user, alarm company operator, private guard responder, or person or entity authorized by the alarm system user.  The visual images must be sufficiently discernable to permit the viewer to confirm that an unauthorized entry, attempted unauthorized entry, or other crime has occurred at the premises protected by the burglar alarm system.  NOTE:  An open door, broken window, or other activity consistent with a burglary is considered a verified activation.

9.96.085 PERMIT REQUIRED. (a) Except as otherwise provided hereafter, it shall be unlawful for any person to connect, or operate, or to cause to be connected, or operated, an alarm system in Sacramento County on an alarm site without obtaining a valid alarm system permit within fifteen (15) days of connecting or commencing to operate an alarm system and keeping a valid alarm system permit in full force and effect at all times thereafter.

(b) The application for an alarm system permit shall contain an agreement, which the applicant must sign before the permit can be issued, whereby the applicant/permittee agrees to reimburse the County for costs incurred by the County resulting from excessive numbers of false alarms. The application shall also contain a provision that the exact costs to the County of excessive false alarms are difficult to ascertain and, for that reason, the amounts set forth in Section 9.96.110 of this chapter are agreed upon by the County and the applicant/permittee as liquidated damages.

(c) Persons owning or in possession of property which an alarm system is intended to protect shall be responsible for securing the proper alarm system permit and such permit shall be issued only to the person who owns or is in possession of the property which the alarm system is intended to protect.

(d) The Sheriff shall issue the alarm system permit within a reasonable period following the date of receipt of application, unless the alarm system does not comply with the specifications contained in this chapter, the applicant has failed to pay the required fee, or the application contains a misrepresentation of fact.

(e) In the event the Sheriff denies the permit to an applicant for any of the reasons set forth in Subsection (d), the applicant shall have the right to a hearing concerning the denial pursuant to Sections 9.96.125 through 9.96.130.

(f) Any person who operates an alarm without a permit shall obtain a permit within 30 days of the Sheriff's mailing of a Notice to Obtain Permit and shall pay the fee provided for in Section 9.96.100, plus a twenty-five dollar ($25.00) surcharge. Failure to obtain a permit within the required time shall result in an additional fee of two hundred and fifty dollars ($250.00).

(g) Payment of Fee: A service fee invoice shall be mailed to the alarm operator within thirty (30) days following the assessment of the fee. Fees are due and owing not later than thirty (30) days after the date of mailing the invoice. The date of mailing shall appear on the invoice. Fees received after the due date shall be subject to a late fee of twenty-five dollars ($25.00). Fees received more than sixty (60) days after the due date shall be subject to an additional late fee of twenty-five dollars ($25.00). (SCC 1086 § 3, 1997; SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.090 APPLICATION FOR PERMIT. (a) Application for alarm system permits shall be filed with the Sheriff on such forms as the Sheriff may prescribe.

(b) An applicant may apply for a single permit for multiple alarm sites or for separate permits for each alarm site. If an applicant chooses to apply for a separate permit for each alarm site, a separate application and permit fee shall be filed for each permit. (SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.095 REQUIRED INFORMATION. Each alarm system permit application must contain the following information:

(a) Full name, date of birth, social security number, driver’s license number, address, and telephone number of the person who will be the permit holder and of the person responsible for the proper maintenance and operation of the alarm system and payment of fees assessed under this chapter.

(b) Classification of the alarm site as either residential or commercial;

(c) For each alarm system located at the alarm site, the purpose of the alarm system; i.e., burglary, robbery, or panic.

(d) Other information as may be reasonably required by the Sheriff.

(e) The information furnished and secured pursuant to this ordinance shall, to the extent permitted by law, be confidential and shall not be subject to public inspection. It is hereby declared that this information is critical to the safety and security of the alarm user and law enforcement personnel and that the public interest by not disclosing said information to the public clearly out weighs the public interest served by disclosing said information. (SCC 1086 § 4, 1997; SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.100 PERMIT FEE. (a) Except for persons exempt pursuant to Government Code Section 6103, every application for an alarm system permit shall be accompanied by a non-refundable fee in an amount set by resolution of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors. This fee shall be in addition to any other fee imposed by Sacramento County and is imposed for the purpose of defraying the costs of processing and overseeing the permit process and the cost of patrol response for false alarms. (SCC 1086 § 5, 1997; SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.105 PERMIT DURATION AND INFORMATION CHANGES. (a) Any alarm system permit issued in accordance with the provisions of this chapter shall be valid only as to the person named on the permit, and only for the particular address specified on the permit and shall not expire so long as there is no change of the named permittee or address, except as provided in Section 9.96.106.

(b) In the event the permittee's name is legally changed, the permittee shall so inform the Sheriff within ten (10) days of such change and no fee shall be assessed to correct the permit.

(c) The permittee shall inform the Sheriff of any other general information changes to the application within ten (10) days after such change, and no fee shall be assessed for changing the Sheriff's records. (SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.106 PERMIT RENEWAL. All permits issued will require renewal every two years accompanied by a non refundable fee in an amount set by resolution of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors. All permits issued prior to July 1, 2005, will be subject to the renewal fee. All permits issued between July 1, 2005 and July 1, 2007, must be renewed in accordance with the provision of this section, but the fee for this renewal shall be waived.

9.96.110 FALSE ALARMS. (a) As hereafter provided, false alarms shall incur a service fee, calculated per calendar year, payable to the County in an amount set by resolution of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors.

Residences/Businesses
Burglary
Panic/Robbery
a) First and Second False Alarms.
No fee.
No fee.
b) Third False Alarm
$75
$150
c) Fourth False Alarm
$100
$200
d) Fifth False Alarm
$200
$250
e) Sixth and Subsequent False Alarms
$250
$300
(Multiple false alarms in one calendar day shall be counted as one alarm for the purpose of assessing fees)


(b).Payment of Fee: A service fee invoice shall be mailed to the alarm user within thirty (30) days of the false alarm. The service fee is due and owing not later than thirty (30) days after the date of mailing the invoice. The date of mailing shall appear on the invoice. Fees received after the due date shall be subject to a late fee of twenty-five dollars ($25.00). Fees received more than sixty (60) days after the due date shall be subject to an additional late fee of twenty-five dollars ($25.00).

(c) Discontinuance of Response: In addition to any other action that may be taken by the Sheriff pursuant to this Chapter, the Sheriff may discontinue responding to an alarm at any location if the Sheriff has responded to six (6) or more false alarms at the location during any calendar year. The period of non-response shall be determined by the Sheriff, but shall not exceed six months. It shall apply to permit holders as well as persons who are unlawfully operating an alarm system without a permit or with a permit that has been suspended. The Sheriff may shorten the period of non- response imposed upon receipt of satisfactory evidence that the problem creating the false alarms has been corrected. In addition, the Sheriff may discontinue response in the event that any false alarm service fee or fees remain unpaid sixty (60) days after invoice, until such time as such fees are paid, plus an additional five (5) business days in order to allow sufficient time to process payments.

(d) Appeal: Any person may appeal the assessment of a false alarm service fee by filing a notice of appeal with the Sheriff within fifteen (15) days of the mailing of the service fee invoice. The service fee invoice shall advise the person to whom the fee is assessed of the right to appeal. The notice of appeal shall state all reasons why the appealing party believes that the fee was improperly assessed and shall be accompanied by any documentary evidence that the appealing party wishes to be considered. The appeal and all documentation shall be reviewed by the Sheriff or the Sheriff's designee. The decision of the Sheriff or the Sheriff's designee shall be final. In the event that it is determined that the false alarm fee was improperly assessed, the fee shall be canceled. (SCC 1086 § 6, 1997; SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.115 SUSPENSION OF PERMIT. When grounds as hereafter provided exist, the Sheriff may determine to suspend a permit. Suspensions of permits shall be for a maximum of three hundred sixty-five (365) calendar days. Use of the alarm system during a suspension of the permit shall be a violation of this chapter. The following shall constitute grounds for suspension of an alarm permit:

(a) The violation of any of the provisions of this chapter.

(b) A false statement on the permit application.

(c) Failure to pay any fine assessed by a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to Section 9.96.165 of this chapter.

(d) Failure to pay any false alarm service fee pursuant to Section 9.96.110(b) of this Chapter or service fee pursuant to Section 9.96.165(b) of this Chapter.

(e) Dispatch procedures for false alarm activations in excess of four (4) within a 12-month period. After four false alarm activations within a 12-month period, at any alarm site, the Sheriff will require verification of each subsequent alarm before dispatching a unit. In the event verification is unavailable, the Sheriff will broadcast the alarm notification and file it. For example, an unverified burglar alarm call will be broadcast and remain in the dispatcher’s queue for a few minutes. It will be at the discretion of the officer in the field to determine if a response is warranted. The officer’s decision will be based upon calls pending in the district, familiarity with the alarm site, and knowledge of chronic false alarms at the location. If an officer does not request the alarm call, the call will be closed out by the dispatcher.
When the Sheriff’s Department Communications Center is notified of burglar alarm activation, the Communications Center shall determine if the complainant observed any activity consistent with a burglary at the alarmed location. The complainant shall not be asked to return to the location and look for evidence of criminal activity.

Exception: Verification is not required for burglar alarm activation at a location monitored by the Sheriff’s Department Communications Center (e.g., County Offices). Verification is also not required at premises, buildings or facilities controlled or monitored by federal, state, or local agencies, or the location of a licensed firearms business. (SCC 1086 § 7, 1997; SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.120 HEARING RIGHTS. If an application for a permit is denied or a permit is to be considered for suspension pursuant to Section 9.96.115 the Sheriff shall serve on the applicant or permittee a written notice of the Sheriff's proposed action including, in the case of suspension, the length of the proposed suspension, and of the right to a hearing on the matter. Service shall be by certified/registered mail to the applicant's or permittee's last known address. Service shall be considered complete five (5) days after such mailing. The applicant or permittee may, within ten (10) calendar days after service of the Sheriff's notification, file a request for hearing. Such request shall be in writing and mailed or deposited with the Sheriff at 711 "G" Street, Sacramento, California, and shall be accompanied by a filing fee in an amount set by resolution of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors to cover the cost of processing the appeal. The filing fee shall be refunded to the applicant or permittee in the event that the applicant or permittee prevails at the hearing. If no request for hearing is filed within the time and in the manner prescribed above, the right to a hearing on the proposed denial or suspension shall be deemed to have been waived and the Sheriff may proceed to deny or suspend the permit according to the terms of the original notice of proposed action.

Upon receiving a written request for a hearing, the Sheriff shall serve on the applicant or permittee by first class mail, a notice of the time and place of hearing. Service shall be made at least ten (10) calendar days prior to the date set for hearing.

Upon the receipt of a written request for a hearing, in the case of a suspension, the Sheriff shall take no further suspension action until a hearing has been held pursuant to Section 9.96.130 and the Sheriff has the written decision of the hearing officer. (SCC 1086 § 8, 1997; SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.125 HEARING OFFICER. The hearing prescribed described by Section 9.96.130 shall be conducted by an individual who is designated by the County Executive. The individual may be an employee of the County who is not assigned to the Sheriff's Department or otherwise subordinate to the Sheriff, or an individual who is not an employee, retained pursuant to a contract to provide such services. The County Executive is hereby authorized to contract in the name of the County for the services of such a hearing officer at rates for such services which do not exceed $75 per hour of service rendered. (SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.130 HEARING. In the event of a request for a hearing by the applicant or permittee, pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, a hearing shall be conducted by the hearing officer. The Sheriff shall carry the burden of proof that grounds exist for denial or suspension. The applicant or permittee may appear, present evidence and examine and cross-examine witnesses. In the event the applicant or permittee fails to appear at the time, date and place appointed for the hearing, the hearing shall be conducted in the absence of the applicant or permittee and the hearing officer shall render a decision based upon evidence presented during the hearing. For good cause, the hearing may be continued upon request of either the Sheriff, applicant, or permittee. The hearing shall be tape recorded, and all documents presented as evidence shall be maintained as part of the record of the hearing. At the request of either the Sheriff, applicant, or permittee, the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors shall, on behalf of the Board, issue subpoenas for attendance of witnesses at the hearing.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer shall issue a written decision, including findings of fact and conclusions. In the case of a permit suspension, the decision shall determine the length of the suspension. The decision of the hearing officer shall be final as to all parties, and the provisions of Section 8.36.010 of the Sacramento County Code shall not be applicable to proceedings under this chapter. If the hearing officer's decision is adverse to the applicant or permittee, the decision shall advise that if the applicant or permittee wishes to seek judicial review, guidance should be sought from Chapter 1.06 of the Sacramento County Code, and a copy of Chapter 1.06 shall be attached to the decision. The decision shall further advise the permittee that the time limits for judicial review are governed by section 1094.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure. (SCC 1086 § 9, 1997; SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.135 OTHER REGULATIONS. (a) No alarm system shall be installed or connected on or after January 1, 1988, which emits the sound of a siren. Any alarm system which emits the sound of a siren and which is installed and in operation prior to January 1, 1987, shall have that part of the alarm system disconnected prior to January 1, 1988.

(b) Every alarm system permit, or a copy thereof, shall be kept on the premises where the alarm is installed.

(c) In those cases where the perpetrator of a robbery or burglary has fled the scene of the crime, the 911 emergency line is to be used for notification of the Sheriff, and the alarm system should not be activated.

(d) Alarm systems shall be equipped with an automatic shutoff or reset feature which deactivates the alarm within fifteen minutes after it is first activated and which has an auxiliary power system capable of operating the system for at least four hours in the event of the interruption or failure of utility power. Alarm systems which have been been installed prior to January 1, 1989, and which do not have the automatic shutoff or reset feature, shall be so equipped prior to January 1, 1990. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a permittee who maintains or operates an alarm system without an automatic shutoff or reset feature shall be subject to the provisions of Section 9.96.155 of this chapter. (SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.136 DUTIES OF ALARM COMPANY (a) The Alarm Company shall provide written and oral instructions to each of its Alarm Users in the proper use and operation of their Alarm Systems. Such instructions will specifically include all instructions necessary to turn the Alarm System on and off and to avoid False Alarms.

(b) Upon the effective date of this Ordinance, Alarm Companies shall not program Alarm Systems so that they are capable of sending One Plus Duress Alarms. The Alarm Company shall remove the One Plus Duress Alarm feature from Alarm Systems whenever an alarm technician is at the alarm site or otherwise accessing the panel for reprogramming purposes.

(c) Upon the effective date of this Ordinance, Alarm Companies shall not install a device to activate a Holdup Alarm, which is a single action, non-recessed button.

(d) Alarm systems installed in Sacramento County after July 1, 2007 shall be listed with the Underwriters Laboratory, Inc., or be marked to state by other nationally recognized testing organizations, “Design evaluated in accordance with SIA CP-01 Control Panel Standard Features for False Alarm Reduction.” The Sheriff may grant an exception to the requirement when the Sheriff determines that the alarm system, device or component is substantially equivalent to, or exceeds, the applicable Underwriters Laboratory, Inc. alarm testing standards.

(e) An Alarm Company shall not use Automatic Voice Dialers.

(f) After completion of the installation of an Alarm System, an Alarm Company employee shall review with the Alarm User the Customer False Alarm Prevention Checklist (Appendix C) or equivalent checklist approved by the Sheriff.

(g) The Alarm Company shall not make a request for police services of the County in response to a burglar alarm signal, excluding Panic, Duress and Holdup signals, during the first seven (7) days following an Alarm System installation. The Sheriff may grant a person’s request for an exemption from this waiting period based upon a determination that special circumstances substantiate the need for the exemption.

(h) The Alarm Company shall:

(1) report alarm signals by using telephone numbers designated by the Sheriff;

(2) verify every alarm signal, except a Duress or Holdup Alarm activation, using the Enhanced Call Verification (ECV) or two (2) call verification before initiating a request for police services;
 
(3) the Alarm Company shall communicate requests for police services to the County in a manner and form determined by the Sheriff;

(4) communicate cancellations to the County in a manner and form determined by the Sheriff;

(5) ensure that all Alarm Users of Alarm Systems equipped with a Duress, Holdup or Panic Alarm are given adequate training as to the proper use of the Duress, Holdup or Panic Alarm;

(6) communicate any available information (north, south, front, back, floor, etc.) about the location on all alarm signals related to the request for police services;

(7) communicate the nature of the alarm (i.e.: burglary, robbery, panic, duress, silent, audible, interior or perimeter);

(8) provide an Alarm User permit number when requesting police services;

(9) after a request for police services, promptly advise the Communications Center if the Alarm Company knows that any person is responding to the Alarm Site;

(10) attempt to contact the person named on the permit within 24 hours via mail, fax, telephone or other electronic means when a request for police services is made; and

(11) upon the effective date of this Ordinance, Alarm Companies shall maintain for a period of at least one (1) year from the date of any request for police services all records relating to that request. Records must include the name, address and telephone number of the Alarm User, the Alarm System Zone(s) activated, the time of request for police services and evidence of an attempt to verify. The Sheriff may request copies of such records for individually named Alarm Users. If the request is made within sixty (60) days of a request for police services, the Alarm Company shall furnish requested records within three (3) business days of receiving the request. If the records are requested between sixty (60) days to one (1) year after a request for police services, the Alarm Company shall furnish the requested records within thirty (30) days of receiving the request.

(i) An Alarm Company that purchases Alarm System accounts from another Person shall notify the Sheriff of such purchase and provide details as may be reasonably requested by the Sheriff.

(j) Each Alarm Company must designate one individual as the Alarm Response Manager (ARM) for the company who will manage alarm related issues and act as the point of contact for the Sheriff. The appointed individual must be knowledgeable of the general provisions of the Ordinance, as well as have the knowledge and authority to deal with false alarm issues and respond to requests from the Sheriff. The name, phone number, and email address of the designated ARM shall be provided to the Sheriff.

(k) An Alarm Company shall submit in a biannual report to the Sheriff a current list of all alarm systems within Sacramento County that are monitored by such installation or monitoring company. The information in the report shall include, but not be limited to, the location of each alarm system monitored by the alarm company (e.g. street address); the name, address and telephone number of the system subscriber; the number, type and location of alarm systems at that location; the name, address and telephone number of an emergency contact person for such location; the locations (e.g. street address) that are no longer monitored by the alarm company; and such other information as the Sheriff reasonably deems necessary to carry out the purpose and intent of this chapter (ordinance).

(l) Alarm Companies shall assist in obtaining the initial alarm permit and registration fee from the alarm user and submit it to the Sheriff within fifteen (15) days of connecting or commencing to operate an alarm system.

9.96.137 DUTIES OF THE ALARM USER (a) All persons operating an alarm system shall:

(1) obtain an Alarm Permit for the Alarm System as required in Section 9.96.085.

(2) maintain the Alarm Site and the Alarm System in a manner that will minimize or eliminate False Alarms

(3) make every reasonable effort to have a Responder to the Alarm System’s location within 30 minutes when requested by the law enforcement agency in order to:

(a) deactivate an Alarm System;

(b) provide access to the Alarm Site; and/or

(c) provide alternative security for the alarm site.

NOTE: In the event that the responder has an extended arrival time or the officer must leave to respond to other priority calls, the responder may call back to the Communications Center after arriving at the Alarm Site. The responder can request police services to check the alarm site should the responder find it necessary due to suspicious activity.

(4) not activate an Alarm System for any reason other than an occurrence of an event that the Alarm System was intended to report.

(b) An Alarm User shall adjust the mechanism or cause the mechanism to be adjusted so that an alarm signal audible on the exterior of an Alarm Site will sound for no longer than then (10) minutes after being activated.

(c) An Alarm User shall have a Licensed Alarm Installation Company inspect the Alarm System after two (2) False Alarms in a calendar year. The Sheriff may waive a required inspection if it determines that a False Alarm(s) could not have been related to a defect or malfunction in the Alarm System. After four (4) False Alarms within a calendar year, the Alarm User must have a Licensed Alarm Company modify the Alarm System to be more false alarm resistant and provide additional user training as appropriate. If the Alarm User has been placed on Verified Response, the Sheriff will determine if the alarm system has been corrected and determine if the procedures outlined in SCC 9.96.081 shall resume.

(d) An Alarm User shall not use Automatic Voice Dialers

(e) An Alarm User shall maintain at each Alarm Site, a set of written operating instructions for each Alarm System.

(f) All Alarm Users shall agree with their Alarm Company to go through an “acclimation period” for the first seven (7) days after installation of an Alarm System during which time the Alarm Company will have no obligation to and will not respond to any Alarm Signal from the Alarm site, excluding Panic, Duress and Holdup signals, and will not make a request for police service even if the Alarm Signal is the result of an actual alarm event.

(g) This Section applies to all individuals and firms who have installed and/or monitor their own Alarm System.

9.96.140 AUTOMATIC DIALING DEVICE CONNECTIONS. (a) No automatic dialing device shall be interconnected to a primary trunkline of the Sheriff's Department or 911 Emergency Center trunkline after January 1, 1987. Any such automatic dialing device so interconnected prior to January 1, 1987, shall be disconnected prior to July 1, 1987. The permittee of the alarm system shall be responsible for having the device disconnected.

(b) Persons owning or leasing an automatic dialing device may have the device interconnected to a telephone line transmitting directly to:

  1. A central station; or
  2. A modified central station; or
  3. An answering service.

(c) The relaying of messages to the Sheriff's Department by a modified central station or an answering service may be over a special trunkline unless the special trunkline is unavailable. The relaying of messages by a central station may be over a direct line. After January 1, 1987, no alarm messages may be relayed to the Sheriff using the 911 Emergency Center or 911 trunklines. If special trunklines are not available, all relaying of messages by a modified central station or answering service may be over a primary trunkline.

(d) The relaying of messages to the Sheriff's Department by an automatic dialing device may not be interconnected directly to the Sheriff's Department, or indirectly to the telephone company operator, Sacramento County telephone operator, or 911 Emergency Center operator. (SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.145 ROBBERY OR PANIC ALARMS. A robbery or panic alarm system is to be activated in the event of a robbery, burglary or life threatening situation, in progress. Any other use is prohibited. Violation of this section shall be a misdemeanor pursuant to Penal Code Section 148.3. (SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.150 TESTING OR MAINTENANCE. The permittee shall notify the Sheriff of any impending service, test, or maintenance of the permittee's alarm system which may signal a false alarm. An alarm activated where such prior notice has been given shall not constitute a false alarm. (SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.155 PUBLIC NUISANCE. An alarm system may be declared a public nuisance, as set forth in the Penal Code, Section 370, and the permittee responsible for such alarm system may be guilty of a misdemeanor, in accordance with Penal Code Section 372, under the following conditions:

(a) When the alarm system generates an audible sound on the premises for a period longer than fifteen (15) minutes;

(b) When the alarm system generates three (3) or more false alarms within any 24 consecutive hour period;

(c) When the alarm system has been assessed three (3) or more service fees within any 12 consecutive month period. (SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.160 ALARM COMPANY RESPONSIBILITIES. No alarm company shall continue to monitor an alarm system upon any property within the County of Sacramento if the alarm user does not have a valid permit issued pursuant to this chapter within fifteen (15) days of installation of an alarm system. Each alarm company shall provide a copy of this ordinance to each person with whom it signs a contract to install and/or monitor an alarm system upon the signing of the contract. Failure to comply shall be a violation of this Chapter. (SCC 1068 § 10, 1997; SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.161 MAINTAINING AND PROVIDING SPECIFIED INFORMATION. Any central station, modified central station, or answering service that relays messages to the Sheriff's Department, and requests the dispatch of deputies to an alarm system location, shall maintain and shall provide the following information to the Sheriff's dispatch at the time each message is relayed:

  1. The name of the permittee;
  2. The address and phone number of the alarm system; and
  3. The alarm permit number.

Failure to comply shall be a violation of this Chapter. (SCC 1068 § 11, 1997).

9.96.165 VIOLATION OF CHAPTER. (a) Except as otherwise specifically provided, pursuant to the provisions of Government Code Section 25132, violation of any of the provisions contained in this Chapter shall constitute an infraction punishable by a fine in an amount set by resolution of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors.

The Sheriff is the enforcing official charged with the responsibility for administering the provisions of this Chapter. Pursuant to the provisions of Section 836.5 of the Penal Code, County employees assigned to the Sheriff's Alarm Bureau as directed by the Sheriff and acting under the direction and control of the Sheriff, shall be authorized to enforce and arrest persons without a warrant for violations of the provisions of this Chapter.

The Sheriff is hereby empowered, pursuant to Sections 25132 and 25203 of the Government Code, to seek recovery of the fines or false alarm service fees by civil action in small claims court.

(b) All remedies set forth in this Chapter are cumulative and the use of one or more remedies shall not bar the use of any other remedy for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this Chapter. (SCC 1068 § 12, 1997; SCC 0852 § 1, 1991; SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

9.96.170 COUNTY LIABILITY. The provisions of this chapter are not intended or shall they be construed to create a special relationship between Sacramento County and any alarm system permittee so as to create a duty on the part of the Sacramento County Sheriff to respond to any alarm. Neither shall the provisions of this chapter be construed as a waiver of any immunity provided governmental agencies for tort liability contained in the California Government Code. (SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).

SECTION 15. This ordinance was introduced and the title thereof read at the regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors on August 28, 2007 and on August 28, 2007 further reading was waived by the unanimous vote of the Supervisors present.

This ordinance shall take effect and be in full force on and after thirty (30) days from the date of its passage, and before the expiration of fifteen (15) days from the date of its passage it shall be published once with the names of the members of the Board of Supervisors voting for and against the same, said publication to be made in a newspaper of general circulation published in the County of Sacramento.

On a motion by Supervisor Yee, seconded by Supervisor Dickinson, the foregoing ordinance was passed and adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the County of Sacramento, State of California, the 4th day of September, 2007 by the following vote:

AYES: Supervisors, Dickinson, MacGlashan, Peters, Yee, Notoli.

NOES: Supervisors, None

ABSENT: Supervisors, None

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