Currently, the City determines a false alarm to be excessive if the false alarm is the third or more at the same location in a 12-month period. False alarms which occur 2 times or less in a 12-month period at a single location or occur multiple times in a single day at a single location do not qualify as a false alarm.
What if the false alarm is an accident?
Our current policy will only find a false alarm to be excessive and will assess a fee on the alarm owner IF the false alarm is the third or more at that location in a 12-month period, as determined by the City. At three or more false alarms, the false alarm is deemed excessive and a nuisance and the City will send a fee assessment to the alarm owner to recuperate the service costs of Fire and Police response to the false alarm.
If I have received a notice, what do I do?
The Notice of False Alarm simply notifies the alarm owner that a false alarm has occurred on the premises. If the false alarm is deemed excessive, then City will levy a fee assessment. If a fee is to be assessed, the City will mail the alarm owner a service fee assessment reflecting the cost of response for Police and/or Fire services to the false alarm. No action is required unless the City has determined the false alarm to be excessive in which case the City will notify you of further instructions.
How much is the assessment?
Current Fees are as follows:
Police (residential): $120.58
Police (commercial): $220.10
Fire (residential): $232.20
Fire (commercial): $343.80
Fee assessments are calculated to reflect the current per-hour cost of service to the City for Fire and Police service response. Fee assessment values are subject to change. These values may be increased or decreased in the future to reflect the change in cost of Fire and Police services to the City.
I have submitted an appeal, what is the next step?
1) If an appeal is timely and properly filed, a hearing officer designated by the City Manager shall set a hearing for not more than 30 days from receipt of the appeal and notify the appellant of the hearing at least 10 days prior pursuant to LEMC 1.20.050.
2) At the hearing, a neutral hearing officer designated by the City shall consider only relevant evidence in determining whether to affirm or reverse the administrative penalty. Other rules of evidence shall not apply. The grounds for appeal shall be limited to those stated in the request for an appeal submitted pursuant to LEMC 1.20.060.
3) The compensation of the hearing officer shall not depend on the determination of the hearing officer.
How may I contest a fee assessment or notice of false alarm?
Any person ordered to pay an administrative penalty for violating a City ordinance or other law as enforced by the City may request an appeal within 15 (fifteen) calendar days of the citation issuance by paying any applicable fee as established by resolution of the City Council and depositing the full amount of the penalty with a request for an appeal to the City Manager or designee that provides a written explanation of the grounds for appeal. Failure to timely and properly file an appeal in accordance with this section constitutes a waiver of the right to appeal and a failure to exhaust administrative remedies.