CHARLOTTE LAWS - DREAM AND ACHIEVE TOGETHER 


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Charlotte Laws, Ph.D. 
Member of the 
 Greater Valley Glen Council
21781 Ventura Blvd., Suite 633
WH, CA 91364
Tel.  818.346.5280
Fax.  818.985.1690 
drlaws@adelphia.net
 

Dr. Charlotte Laws - Councilperson Valley Glen


Burglar Alarms
Click to Read Full Burglar Alarm Ordinance Amendment

The following information is to inform you of a public hearing regarding
the City Council's consideration of amendments to Los Angeles Municipal
Code Section 103.206 relative to Burglar Alarm Systems.

On September 21, 2004, the Los Angeles City Council will be considering
a draft Municipal Code Ordinance amending Section 103.206, which is
otherwise known as the City' Alarm Ordinance. The draft Alarm Ordinance
deals with the City's regulations of alarm systems, permit requirements,
and false alarm fees, among other provisions. To the extent possible,
the draft ordinance is consistent with the work undertaken by the
Burglar Alarm Task Force recommendations (Council File 03-0028; adopted
on April 3, 2003).

Of particular note is that the draft Alarm Ordinance will no longer
allow for "free" false alarms. In addition, the false alarm fee will be
increased from $95 to $115 to allow for full cost recovery for service
provided by the City. In addition, the draft Alarm Ordinance applies an
escalating penalty schedule for false alarms. Under the draft Ordinance,
permitted alarm users will be assessed $50 for the second false alarm
and an additional amount in $50 increments for each subsequent false
alarm in a 365-day period. Unpermitted alarm users will be assessed an
additional amount in $100 increments for the first false alarm, and $100
for each subsequent false alarm in a 365-day period.

The alarm permit fee will remain unchanged ($31 for annual permit; $30
to renew the permit) to encourage Municipal Code compliance. The City
will also provide the ability to apply and pay for an alarm permit
on-line in October 2004 through the Office of Finance website at
www.lacity.org/finance .

This issue has been reviewed extensively by City staff and the City
Council, including the Public Safety, Education & Neighborhoods, and
Budget & Finance Committees. The draft Alarm Ordinance will be under
consideration by the full City Council on September 21, 2004.

If you have further questions about this issue, please contact Chris
Espinosa, Legislative Analyst - Office of the Chief Legislative Analyst
- Los Angeles City Council at 213-473-5717 or by e-mail at
cespinos@cla.lacity.org .


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

An ordinance amending Section 103.206 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code
relating to Alarm Systems.

THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES DO ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1. Section 103.206 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code is amended
to read:

Sec. 103.206. Alarm Systems

(a) Definitions. Unless the context or subject matter otherwise
requires, terms defined here shall have the following meaning when used
in this chapter:

(1) Alarm System. Any assembly of equipment and devices installed on
premises, buildings or structures for the purpose of signaling the
presence of an Emergency or hazard requiring urgent attention, excepting
any system, device, or mechanism primarily protecting a motor vehicle.

(2) Alarm System User. The person who controls both the Alarm System
and the premises upon which it is installed, or the person who controls
the premises and is the subscriber, client or customer of an Alarm
Company Operator, as that term is used in Section 103.206.1 of this
Code.

(3) Burglar Alarm System. An Alarm System designed or used to detect
and report an unauthorized entry or attempted unauthorized entry upon
the premises, building or structure protected by the system.

(4) Department. The Los Angeles Police Department.

(5) Emergency. The commission or attempted commission of a robbery,
burglary, or other criminal activity.

(6) False Alarm. The activation of an Alarm System resulting in a
response by the Department where an Emergency of the kind for which the
Alarm System was designed to give notice does not exist.

(7) Private Guard Responder. A guard employed by an Alarm Company
Operator, private guard company, or person or entity authorized by the
Alarm System User to be responsible for Verification of an unauthorized
entry, attempted unauthorized entry, or other crime which may have
occurred at the premises, building or structure protected by the Alarm
System.

(8) Robbery Alarm System. An Alarm System designed or used for alerting
others of a robbery or other crime in progress which involves
potentially serious bodily injury or death. For purposes of this
definition, a Robbery Alarm System includes duress, panic, hold-up and
robbery-in-progress alarms.

(9) Verification. Confirmation of an unauthorized entry or attempted
unauthorized entry upon the premises, building or structure protected by
the Burglar Alarm System. Confirmation may be made by the Alarm System
User, other person at or near the scene of the activation, Private Guard
Responder or Alarm Company Operator, and shall be based on a physical
observation or inspection of the premises, or by remote visual
inspection of the premises. For purposes of this definition, remote
visual inspection of the premises is a visual inspection of the premises
protected by the Burglar Alarm System which is accomplished through the
use of a video camera or other similar device to capture and transmit
visual images of the premises to the Alarm System User, Alarm Company
Operator, Private Guard Responder, or person or entity authorized by the
Alarm System User. The visual images must be sufficiently discernable to
permit the viewer to confirm that an unauthorized entry, attempted
unauthorized entry, or other crime has occurred at the premises
protected by the Burglar Alarm System.

(b) Permit Requirement. No person shall install, connect, activate,
operate or use an Alarm System without a valid Alarm System permit
having been issued for that purpose.

(c) Permit Application. Application for an Alarm System permit must be
in writing on a form provided by the Board. Applications must be
accompanied by the permit fee established in Section 103.12.

(d) Permit Denial, Suspension and Revocation. The Board of Police
Commissioners may suspend or revoke the permit of any Alarm System User
whose Alarm System has experienced more than ten (10) False Alarms
within a 365 day period. Failure to pay a False Alarm fee or penalty
assessment within sixty (60) days of billing shall be grounds for
revocation of a permit. No permit shall be issued or renewed until all
Alarm System permit fees, False Alarm fees, late fees or penalty
assessments due and owing are paid.

(e) False Alarm Fees and Penalties.

(1) False Alarm Fees. Alarm System Users shall pay a False Alarm fee of
$115.00 for each False Alarm.

(2) Penalty Assessments. All penalties assessed under this section
shall be in addition to any False Alarm fee.

(i) Permitted Alarm System. In addition to the False Alarm fee an Alarm
System User with a valid permit shall pay a penalty assessment of $50.00
for the second False Alarm within 365 days of the first False Alarm. The
penalty assessment will increase by $50.00 increments for each
additional False Alarm incurred during a 365 day period.

(ii) Non-permitted Alarm System. In addition to the False Alarm fee an
Alarm System User who does not possess a valid permit on the date of the
False Alarm shall pay a penalty assessment of $100.00 for the first
False Alarm. The penalty assessment will increase by $100.00 increments
for each additional False Alarm incurred during a 365 day period.

(f) Late Permit Penalty. An Alarm System User who fails to obtain a
permit as required by this Section shall pay a Late Permit Penalty of
$10.00 in addition to the permit fee established in Section 103.12.

(g) Waiver of Fees. The Board of Police Commissioners may waive the
fees and penalties provided it has adopted and follows guidelines for
the waiver of fees.

(h) The Department shall advise the Office of Finance of all applicable
fees and penalties. The Office of Finance shall bill the charges to the
Alarm System User. The charges shall be due and payable to the Office of
Finance within 30 days of the billing date.

(i) If the Office of Finance determines for any billing that a
discrepancy exists between the charges paid and the amount due pursuant
to this section, which results in an underpayment or overpayment in an
amount of $3.00 or less, the Office of Finance may accept and record the
billing as paid in full, without other notification to the person
billed.

(j) If the Office of Finance determines that any amount due pursuant to
this section cannot be collected or that efforts to collect this sum
would be disproportionately costly in relation to the probable outcome
of the collecting efforts relative to the amount due, the Office of
Finance may prepare a report setting forth the findings and reason for
that determination and submit that report to a Board of Review
constituted under Section 11.04 of this Code and authorized to act as
provided in that section. Upon unanimous approval of the finding by the
Board of Review, the Office of Finance may remove any unpaid sum owing
or believed to be owing from the active accounts receivable of the
Department. The removal however shall not preclude the City from
collecting or attempting to collect the sum if it later proves to be
collectible, as provided by Section 11.04. In the event the City files
an action in court to recover the sum, the City shall be entitled to
recover its costs and attorney's fees in addition to the amount due and
owing.

(k) Additional Duties of Alarm System User.

(1) The Alarm System User shall display on the premises, building or
structure, at or near the main entrance, the Alarm System permit number
and the telephone number of the person designated to respond to the
location in the event of an alarm. Numbers shall be clearly visible and
readable from the exterior of the premises. The premises shall display
the street address at or near the front of the premises and at other
places where access is available, such as, from an alley or parking lot.
The street address shall be clearly visible.

(2) All Alarm System notifications to the Department shall begin with
the Alarm System User's name, complete address including unit or
apartment number, Alarm System permit number and shall include the state
alarm company operator license number.

(3) The Alarm System User or a designee of the Alarm System User shall
respond to the premises following activation of an alarm at the premises
after being requested to do so by the Department. The response shall be
made within a reasonable time and, in any event, not later than sixty
(60) minutes after being requested to do so by the Department.

(4) The Alarm System User shall abide by all additional rules and
restrictions adopted by the Board.

(l) Impermissible Systems and Uses.

(1) No person shall operate or use any Alarm System that emits a sound
similar to that of an emergency vehicle siren or a civil defense warning
system.

(2) No person shall operate or use an Alarm System that emits an
audible sound where the emission does not automatically cease within
thirty (30) minutes.

(3) No person shall operate or use a Robbery Alarm System for any
purpose other than reporting robberies or other crimes involving
potential serious bodily injury or death.

(4) No person shall operate or use a Burglar Alarm System for any
purpose other than detecting and reporting an unauthorized entry or an
attempted unauthorized entry upon the premises, building or structure
protected by the system.

(5) No person shall operate or use an Alarm System that has been
disapproved by the Board of Police Commissioners.

(6) No person shall operate or use a Burglar Alarm System that causes a
request for service to be placed with the Department or with a 9-1-1
emergency service number prior to Verification if the Burglar Alarm
System has already experienced two False Alarms within a 365 day period.
Verification is not required for a Robbery Alarm System activation or
for activations that occur at premises, buildings or facilities
controlled or monitored by federal, state or local agencies, or the
location of a licensed firearms business.

(7) No Alarm Company Operator shall cause a request for service to be
placed with the Department until such time as it has made (2) attempts
to verify the need for service by telephonic means.

(8) No Alarm Company Operator shall, within seven (7) days following a
new Alarm System installation, cause a request for service to be placed
with the Department prior to Verification.

(9) No person shall provide false information which causes the
Department to dispatch officers to the location of an Alarm System.

(10) No person shall operate or use a Burglar Alarm System which causes
a request for service to be placed with the Fire Department for any
purpose other than for an emergency fire response.

(m) Violation. Violation of this section, other than by failure to pay
a fee or penalty assessment, shall constitute a misdemeanor.