Oregon County Ends Response to Excessive False Alarm Customers


The Board of Commissioners in Washington County, Ore., has unanimously approved a new alarm ordinance where deputies will no longer respond to alarms at addresses with more that four false alarms in a calendar year. The ordinance takes effect immediately.

The sheriff’s department in Washington County – which includes Beaverton, Hillsboro and portions of the Portland metropolitan area – proposed the new ordinance in December because they say 99 percent of the alarm calls they responded to last year were false.

The ordinance also now allows deputies to force their way into a locked building or residence to shut off an audible alarm if complaints are received from neighbors.

The Board of Commissioners approved the new ordinance by a 5-0 vote on Feb. 1.

Only one person – Paul Moore, general manager for Brink’s Home Security in Beaverton – spoke at the public hearing on the ordinance according to the Oregonian newspaper. Moore said he empathized with the sheriff on the false alarm problem but said alarm systems save law enforcement money by requiring fewer patrols.

However, Board Chairman Tom Brian said alarm customers need a stronger incentive to stop committing false alarms. “They just have to know how to use them and have them properly installed,” Brian said. “If they all did that, we wouldn’t have the volume.”

Under the new ordinance, an alarm user who commits their fifth false alarm will have their alarm permit revoked and have no officer response to alarms. However, the permit-holder will be able to appeal the revoking of the permit.

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