Cathedral City (Calif.) Reinstitutes Alarm Response Policy

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – The police department in this desert community near Palm Springs will once again respond to all alarms following the adoption of a new alarm ordinance.

Approved by the City Council last week, the ordinance mandates that businesses and homes must be permitted to operate an alarm, plus they will be subject to fines for false alarms, according to a report in The Desert Sun.

In August 2010, Cathedral City police adopted a verified-response policy in an attempt to drastically cut back on the number of false dispatches. Police have only been responding to security alarms if alarm companies or witnesses verified a crime was taking place.

Under the new ordinance, businesses or residents must register their alarm with the city for a $35 fee as well as $30 annual fee. Police will then respond to all alarms without the need for verification.

Permitted owners will be charged nothing for their first false alarm and $100 for their second in a year. Those who don’t have permits will be charged $100 for their first false alarm and $200 for their second, according to the newspaper.

Under the new ordinance, registered owners will be allowed one false alarm per year. A second false alarm within one year will mean a $100 fine. The owner can take an online class to reduce the fee.

Reserve officers who have worked on a volunteer basis will be paid to work shifts when alarms are most likely to happen, according to the newspaper.

Source: The Desert Sun


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