Higher Fees for L.A. False Alarms Moves Closer to Approval

LOS ANGELES

The Los Angeles City Council’s Public Safety Committee has given its clearance to a revised alarm ordinance that would charge alarm customers $115 for a first false alarm and an additional $50 added on to that for each additional false alarm. A legislative assistant to the committee expects the full city council to decide the measure within the next two weeks, bringing to a close a long alarm ordinance debate in Los Angeles that has gone on during the past two years.

The committee approved the revised ordinance – HREF=t_ci_newsView.cfm?nid=1491>first revealed by
Councilwoman Janice Hahn at the Greater Los Angeles Security Alarm Association’s (GLASAA) Feb. 17 meeting
– by a unanimous 5-0 vote on April 12. The proposal has to be reviewed by three more council committees, though Public Safety Committee Legislative Assistant Adrian Bass told Security Sales & Integration that one or two of the committees might waive their review of the ordinance and send it on. “I think it will be a week or two before this is debated in council,” Bass says.

The new ordinance would leave in place a policy that went into effect Jan. 1 where Los Angeles police no longer respond to alarms at addresses with more than two false alarms unless they have been verified by someone at the location or through remote electronic visual inspection. The main additions would be the increased false alarm fees, including an additional $100 fee on top of the $115-plus fee for false alarms on systems without a city permit.

George Gunning, past GLASAA president and CEO of Monrovia, Calif.-based USA Alarm Systems Inc., says it will be up to alarm users to express displeasure they may have with the new fees. “There’s noting the industry can do about it. It has to come from the end user,” says Gunning, who adds the general public may not be aware of the new fees they may soon be faced with. “The city owes it to the public to tell them what the city is going to do because they’re not listening to the industry.”

A change to Los Angeles’ alarm policy involving verified response was first debated by the city’s Police Commission exactly two years before Monday’s committee action – on April 12, 2002 – and has since gone through several revisions and compromises leading to the current proposal.

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