El Cerrito

Frequently Asked Questions


Answers

Please select a Question to see the Answer.

Q.
Why am I fined for false alarms?

A.

False alarms waste City and police resources as well as taxpayer dollars. Additionally, they endanger public safety by diverting law enforcement from responding to actual criminal activity. Ordinance 6-05 addresses the drain on City resources created when the City is forced to respond to numerous false alarms.

Q.
When is an alarm considered a "false alarm"?

A.

False alarm means an alarm dispatch request resulting in the responding officer finding no evidence of a criminal offense or attempted criminal offense after having completed a timely investigation of the alarm site.

Q.
Do I need an alarm permit?

A.

Yes. If you have an active alarm system, monitored or audible, you are required under El Cerrito Ordinance 06-05 to have a registered alarm. If you have multiple alarm systems, each alarm system must be registered.

Q.
I bought a home with an alarm system already installed. Am I required to have an alarm permit for my new home?

A.

Yes. If you are a new owner of an alarm system, you are required to register your alarm. Registered alarms are not transferrable.

Q.
I bought a new commercial building with an alarm system. Am I required to have an alarm permit for my new building?

A.

Yes. Anytime there is a change in ownership of the alarm system, a new alarm registration is required.

Q.
How often do I need to renew my alarm permit?

A.

Your  alarm registration is valid for 2 years. When a change of ownership in the alarm system occurs, the new owner is required to register the alarm.

Q.
How much does an alarm system permit cost?

A.

Initial alarm registration: $34.00.

Alarm permits are renewed every TWO years: $19.00

Q.
How much is the cost to renew my alarm permit?

A.

Alarm permits are renewed every TWO years: $19.00

Q.
When are false alarm fines charged?

A.

Permit holders are given one false alarm response within a 365 day period at no charge. A fine is charged for all false alarms thereafter.

Q.
What are the fines for false alarms?

A.

Police Alarms

1st False Alarm
in 365 day period

False Alarm 2-5
in 365 day period

False Alarm 6+

in 365 day period

 

Permitted
Alarm

No charge

$90.00

$194.00

 

Non-Permitted
Alarm

$125.00

$125.00

$125.00

Q.
Is there a City ordinance for false alarms?

A.

Yes. El Cerrito enacted an ordinance which requires all private residence and business owners with alarm systems to register their alarms and reimburse the City for excessive false alarms.

Q.
How can I appeal a false alarm charge/occurrence?

A.

*Submit a written request/statement as to why you feel the charge and/or occurrence should be waived or removed from your account, along with any supporting documentation (police reports, alarm company documentation, etc)

*Submit via email using the Contact Us page.

*Be sure to include Permit License #, alarm location address, and incident date(s) in question. 

*Submit within fifteen (15) calendar days of the notice imposing the charge.

Q.
How do I cancel my alarm permit?

A.
If there is no longer active alarm service in your name at this location please notify us in writing by sending an email to elcerritoca@citysupport.org with the date of cancellation and the alarm company of record.