Information on False Alarms
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Information on False Alarms

Information on Foster City's False Alarm policy is in FCMC section 5.52

5.52.170 False Alarms

Each person, franchisee, owner, lessee, or premises maintaining a subscriber alarm system or audible alarm system, or silent alarm system, or any alarm contractor doing business in the city, shall comply with the provisions of this section:

A.   No premises protected by a subscriber alarm system or audible alarm system or silent alarm system shall be permitted more than one false alarm during any one fiscal year, except those false alarms that occur during the first two weeks after original installation of the system shall not be included in the calculation. In the event that any such premises has more than one false alarm, the city police department may, in its discretion, consider the alarm a public nuisance and disconnect the offending alarm system from the communications center or choose not to respond to an activated alarm or, alternatively, direct the city finance department to bill (1) the franchisee, or (2) the owner or lessee of premises maintaining a subscriber alarm system, an audible alarm system, or a silent alarm system, or (3) an alarm system contractor for each additional false alarm. The fee shall be set by city council resolution.

B.   If the person fails to pay within thirty days of its billing date any charges authorized by subsection A of this section, a penalty assessment shall be added as prescribed by city council resolution.

C.   The Chief of Police may require the franchisee or owner or lessee of premises maintaining a subscriber alarm system, audible alarm system, or silent alarm system, or an alarm contractor, to submit a report describing action taken to discover and eliminate the cause or causes of false alarms. Failure to submit such a report within fifteen days after mailing of said request shall be cause for immediate suspension of police response.

D.   1. If the Police Chief has issued a notice of suspension or revocation of police responses, or the city Finance Director has issued a notification of charges due as authorized by subsection A of this section to any person(s) using a subscriber alarm system, audible alarm system, or silent alarm system, said person(s) may within ten days of issuance of said notification submit a written request for a hearing before the Police Chief.

2.   If within the time prescribed in the subsection (D)(1) of this section the Police Chief has received a written request for hearing, the Police Chief shall set a hearing and shall serve written notice of this time and place on the person(s) at least ten days prior to the date of the hearing. If no hearing request is received within the said ten-day period since the issuance of either a notification of suspension or revocation or a notification of charges due as authorized in subsection A of this section, it shall be construed that the right to a hearing has been waived and the action is final.

3.   At the hearing, the person requesting such hearing shall have the right to confront and examine witnesses and present evidence to their own behalf. After the hearing, the Police Chief shall take one of the following actions:

a.   Sustain the order of suspension or revocation, or charges billed as authorized in subsection A of this section;

b.   Issue a temporary order of suspension for a period of time until specific mechanical corrections of any alarm system have been concluded and proof of corrections has been received by the Police Chief.  In accordance with the order,  person(s) with control of the premises where said alarm is installed maybe required to submit to an inspection by the Police Chief or his designated agent to verify that corrective action has been taken;

c.   Decline to revoke, suspend, or levy fees upon finding from the evidence that there are insufficient grounds for such revocation, suspension, or fees.

4.   The decision of the Chief of Police shall be in writing and mailed to the person(s) requesting said hearing.

E.   1. If the Police Chief has issued a notice of a decision of hearing as described in subsection (D)(4) of this section sustaining the order of suspension or revocation, or the notification of charges due as authorized in subsection A of this section, said person(s) may, within ten days of issuance of said notification of a decision of hearing, submit a written request for an appeal hearing before the City/District Manager.

2.   If within the time prescribed in subsection (E)(1) of this section the City/District Manager has received a written request for appeal hearing, the City/District Manager shall set a hearing and shall serve written notice of the time and place on the person(s) at least ten days prior to the date of the hearing. If no appeal hearing request is received within the ten-day period since the issuance of the notification of a decision of hearing by the Chief of Police pursuant to subsection (D)(4) of this section, it shall be construed that the right to an appeal hearing has been waived and the action is final.

3.   At the appeal hearing, the person(s) requesting such hearing shall have the right to present evidence on their own behalf, and at the discretion of the City/District Manager, have witnesses subpoenaed for examination. After the appeal hearing, the City/District Manager shall decide whether to sustain the original decision by the Chief of Police or reverse the original decision rendered by the Chief of Police. It shall be the responsibility of the City/District Manager to notify the person(s) requesting the appeal hearing of his decision within ten days. The decision of the City/District Manager shall be final and conclusive. (Ord. 564 § 1, 2011: Ord. 265 § 1, 1983)

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