False security alarms are very costly and prevent police officers from responding to actual emergencies. A false alarm is any alarm signal which causes police department response when an emergency does not exist. The City of Cathedral City requires residences and commercial businesses with alarm systems to obtain and maintain an annual alarm registration permit and reimburse the City for excessive false security alarms. The City allows up to 1 false alarm within a 365 day period with no charge. False alarm fines begin with the 2nd response.
The current ordinance became effective January 15th, 2012. All residents and businesses with an existing or new alarm system were required to obtain an Alarm Users Permit with the City at an initial fee of $35 for the first year, and an annual renewal fee of $30 for each subsequent year. Alarm User Permits will be valid for 365 days from the time the alarm permit fee is received. The Alarm Users Permit will be made available at the Cathedral City Police Department, as well as online on the following website:
Homes and businesses with valid Alarm User Permits will be allowed one false alarm response per year without incurring any false alarm response fees. Homes and businesses without Alarm User Permits will be fined $100 for the first false alarm response. In the event of a second false alarm in any 365 day period, permitted alarm users will be given the option of completing an online alarm education course to reduce the response fee for the second false alarm
Here is some of the alarm fee information:
- Initial Alarm User Permit: $35
- If obtained 90 days after alarm activation (late fee) $55
- Annual Alarm Permit Renewal: $30
- If renewed within 30 days of expiration date $30
- If renewed more than 30 days after expiration date $40
- If renewed more than 90 days after expiration date $50
- Second False Burglar Alarm* $100
- Third False Burglar Alarm* $150
- Fourth or more False Burglar Alarm* $200
- Second False Robbery Alarm* $100
- Third False Robbery Alarm* $150
- Fourth or more False Robbery Alarm* $200
- Re-issued Alarm User Permit* $200
- First Response to Non-permitted Burglar or Robbery Alarm* $100
- Second or more Response to Non-permitted Burglar or Robbery Alarm* $200
- Online Alarm Education - Diversion Course $25
- *(Within ANY 365 day period)
Alarm permit applications can be completed and all fees and fines can be paid for on-line.
The new Alarm Ordinance will be available in the online Municipal Code under Chapter 8.28 Security Alarm Systems at www.cathedralcity.gov after January 15th, 2011. Alarm User Permit payments should be sent to: Cathedral City Alarm, PO Box 670, Cathedral City, CA 92235. Alarm inquiries can also be made at 877-716-6383.
Frequently Asked Questions:
The City took great effort to reach as many citizens and business owners about the new ordinance as possible by utilizing various resources and tools. In November 2011, the Police Department made a public presentation regarding the new ordinance to the City Council. The presentation was included in the City Council Agenda prior to the meeting, and was also made available for public comments. The ordinance was presented to City Council again for a second reading in December 2011, again with prior notice in the Council Agenda and public comments. With approval from the City Council, the ordinance was passed into law to become effective January 15th, 2012. After the ordinance was passed in December 2011, information about the alarm permit and fees were provided to local radio, news media outlets, realty boards, and alarm industry companies asking for their assistance in notifying their customers of the changes. The City also utilized an automated calling system to alert citizens of the new ordinance and alarm permit, sending out an automated message in December and another in January.