What is it?
Alarm Permits and
False Alarm School
In an effort to reduce the number of false alarms, the City of Palm Springs enacted an alarm ordinance, which allows the City to collect a civil penalty for false alarms.
In the year 2004, the Palm Springs Police and Fire Departments responded to 6,864 alarms. Of those, 99.5 percent were false alarms. An average of nearly eight hours are spent each day responding to false alarms.
The City's Response:
In 1993, the City of Palm Springs adopted an alarm user permit for all burglary and robbery alarms in order to offset the alarm response cost, and more importantly to attempt to reduce the number of false alarm responses. The ordinance required a civil penalty (fee) for the 3rd false alarm in any one-year period. In 2004, the ordinance was amended to include a higher user fee for non-permitted alarms. In that year, the City collected over $100,000 in false alarm user fees, yet responses to false alarms continued to increase in number. In November of 2005, the alarm ordinance was amended again, increasing the civil penalties and requiring a fee after the 2nd (rather than 3rd) activation in a one-year period. This resulted in opposition from the alarm industry. As a compromise, an ALARM DIVERSION PROGRAM was proposed.
How does it work?
There are other cities that have successfully established Alarm Diversion Programs. If a home or business owner is fined because of excessive false alarms, the owner of the alarm is given an option to attend an alarm class, and the fee can be waived after successful completion. Realizing that this would create a hardship for residents as well as the city, Police Chief Gary Jeandron proposed an Online Alarm School, the first of its kind that we know of.
If you have a residence or business in Palm Springs with a permitted alarm system, and you a fined a civil penalty for a 2nd false alarm in a one-year period, you will receive a letter explaining your option to participate in an Online Alarm Diversion Program. Upon successful completion, you will receive a certificate that may be submitted in lieu of the fine. A small fee may be charged by the Online Alarm School, and will be paid directly to the company.