Thursday, June 5, 2008

Arcadia Alarm Permit Fee

I was watching the City Council meeting on cable TV the other night (yeah, I know, I was bored and there's nothing else interesting to watch). One of the items discussed was a proposed fee for people who installed alarm in their homes and businesses. The proposal was a $40/year "Alarm Fee".... I guess we have to paid to make our homes safer. Wait! We do! We pay to get the alarm installed, we pay to have our alarm system monitored.... Now the city or the police department wants to get the hands in my wallet for more...gee, what's new?!

The main reason for the city to consider imposing a fee is more than 90% of the time police responded to false alarms. Each time costs the City $175.

Here's my questions, how many false alarms does the police respond to in an average day? According to the Police Chief, majority of the false alarms are caused by repeat offenders. REPEAT OFFENDERS, did you say? Do we have to pay our policy officers if there NO false alarms to respond to? Do alarms help the officers do their jobs? Can alarms be a crime deterrent?

It is obvious the police or the city knows who are repeat offenders. Why doesn't the city or PD charge them?! If they cause the problem, should they pay to fix it?! Why make everyone pay for the few who cause the problem? I believe alarms help police and they deter crime. Shouldn't we encourage home owners install properly installed and monitored alarms? Charging an annual fee will encourage no one.

This one really amazed me.... One of the councilmen said (to the Chief), "I know you are out sourcing the billing and administration of this....They (the vendor) take their cut and it doesn't cost the city a dime. We can do this..." I can't believe I voted for you!

Hey, Councilman, just because it's easy and doesn't cost the city to bill me and get my money, it doesn't mean you should to it! HANDS OFF MY WALLET!!!


meandering said...

Hi there, spotted your blog and decided to give it a quick read. I've added to my feed so don't be surprised if I contact you for info some day.

Sorry about the hate mail, assholes are everywhere, we just have to deal with it and show them they are wrong.

The Alarm post was interesting. I went for a ride-along with Arcadia PD this spring. The false alarms are pretty heavy. In the 5 hours I rode with the officer we responded to 3 false alarms. He said that was pretty common and goes on all day like that.

I have to agree with the city council when they talk about charging the resident back for the false alarms as it detracts officers from their more important duties.

APOA Voice said...

The alarm ordinance already exists. The new proposal lowers the threshold to bill "repeat" false alarms and does outsource the processing and paperwork, thus freeing up sworn personnel. It is a benefit to not only the PD, but also the community by billing violators sooner. The permit fee is widely used throughout the SGV and most cities require a permit on file in order to even respond. Some cities fine the resident if there is an alarm and no permit on file. The fee will cover costs associated with maintaining current records with responsible party information which is not readily shared by the alarm companies. It allows the PD to contact residents in a timely manner if indeed there is a problem. There was consideration for fees being waived for those that maintain a good response record throughout the year as well. So, not only is this a benefit, it does encourage the residents to participate.

Thanks for watching and being active. Many people sit back and never participate in their community.


This blog entry was my immediate reaction while watching the broadcast. I really don't have problem with the City and PD trying to curb false alarms. Just the approach to the whole, at least what I watched that day, bother me. The logic didn't make sense.
1. PD has to respond to alarm calls;
2. Some (maybe most) those alarm calls are false;
3. Responding false alarms take away resources for real emergency. Also, cost city money when this happens;
4. We need to do something to mitigate this problem....
(I am with you all the way up to here...)
5. Let's charge everybody $40/yr to recover the cost;
6. Besides, it doesn't cost the city or PD a dime to do it. We are outsourcing this...

It doesn't seem to be fair to make everyone pay for the mistakes caused by a few, especially when you can clearly identify who they are.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe Arcadia is such a dirty city.

Next time you respond to a false alarm, write the particular culprit a ticket and fine them, as you would give someone a speeding ticket.

So tell me something. To make things easier for you, why don't you just add a $200 speeding ticket to every DMV driver's license holder because police officers have to give out speeding tickets daily???

Arcadia is a dangerous place to live.

Anonymous said...

If this is not a dirty money making tactic, let's also add (on top of the yearly $200 speeding ticket fee) a yearly drunk driving fee to all DMV driver's license holders. That's fair.

It's because police have to watch for drunk driver's all the time. Therefore, it's FAIR to add this extra $300 drunk driving fee to all california drivers.

I hate it when people either make mistakes or when they're unethical. However, mistakes are correctable and acceptable if they are honest mistakes. Being unethical and selfish and just wanting extra money for their children at home is another story.

Word will get out that Arcadia is becoming a dirty, dangerous place to live unless they change this.

Anonymous said...

I think everyone knows that if a drunk driver is caught in public, the police will fine taht particular driver. We don't go and then demand that ALL drivers pay a drunk driving fee.

Something dark and ominous are behind this.