Los Angeles Police Commission Outlines New Alarm Policy

December 4, 2003

"Los Angeles Police Commission Outlines New Alarm Policy"
Information is Sent to All Los Angeles Alarm Companies

Los Angeles: On January 1, 2004, the new Los Angeles Police Alarm Policy is scheduled to go into effect. At this time, the alarm companies are the only entities that have direct contact with all Los Angeles alarm owners, therefore, a letter from the Los Angeles Police Commission has been sent to all Los Angeles alarm companies outlining the new policy, so that they may inform their customers of the changes.

The letter reads as follows:

"The objectives of this new policy are to preserve the crime deterrent effect provided to those who utilize alarm systems, address the minority of alarm owners who generate false alarms, and improve the LAPD’s response to criminal activity associated with verified alarm activations. Essentially, the new policy will continue the current practice of dispatching a patrol unit to a location for two alarm activation calls that are deemed to be false within a 12-month period. (Verified alarm activations as well as robbery or panic alarms are not affected by this policy change.) After two burglary alarm calls are deemed to be false within a 12-month period, a patrol unit will not be dispatched unless the alarm is verified either by someone at the location or through remote electronic visual inspection. When verification cannot be obtained, the call will be broadcast over the police radio allowing patrol units to respond to the alarm call if and when they are available.
Another important component of this effort is a proposed change in false alarm fees. Currently, the City imposes a fine only after two false alarms per year if the alarm user has a permit or after the first false alarm activation in a year if the user does not have the required permit. (A City Ordinance requires alarm users to have a Police Commission permit which can be obtained at any Office of Finance regional office.) The Police Commission has recommended that the City Council impose a penalty of $95 for the first false alarm in a year and an additional $50 for each subsequent alarm during that year. The Police Commission has also recommended that those fines be doubled when an alarm user does not have a Police Commission permit and that the installation of any new alarm system be prohibited until the alarm user obtains the required alarm permit. These and other recommendations will be decided by the City Council when it considers revisions to the City’s Alarm Ordinance."

This letter is being sent to numerous community groups including the members of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment and Community Police Advisory Boards.