Maricopa City Code requires all business and residential alarm users to obtain an alarm permit and register that permit with the city’s alarm administrator.
Policy updates were made back in October, and are going into effect on Monday, March 11.
On Oct. 4, 2018, it became the responsibility of the alarm user to register and annually renew their alarm system permit with the alarm administrator.
Registration must be completed by the alarm user within 10 days from the date of installation of the alarm system.
Registration will be completed online using the City of Maricopa’s SMARTgov online portal. If no computer or Internet access is available, the alarm user should visit either City Hall or the Police Department for assistance to register their alarm permit.
If an alarm user has multiple alarm systems, a permit is required for each alarm system even if the alarm systems are located at the same address.
A fee of $20 per alarm permit is required upon registration and annual renewal.
Any change of address or ownership of the alarm system will require a new permit to be registered and will be subject to the $20 registration fee. Alarm permits are not transferable.
Permits expire 1 year from issuance. The alarm administrator will notify the alarm user of the need to renew the alarm permit 30 calendar days prior to the expiration date.
An alarm user to which law enforcement are requested to respond to a false alarm, shall be charged a false alarm fee. No fee shall be charged for the first false alarm, if the alarm user completes an online alarm user awareness class and submits the alarm user awareness class acknowledgement within thirty (30) days of the date of the false alarm notification letter.
# False Alarms Penalty
1 $50 – No fine if online Alarm User Awareness Class completed
False alarms resulting from the following shall not be counted against the alarm user and no response fee shall be charged:
When it is reasonable to assume the alarm was due to violent conditions of nature including an electrical storm which have been verified by the National Weather Service;
Cable, line or power failure which has been specifically verified by the appropriate utility company serving the alarm location;
For alarm resulting from valid situations requiring a response by law enforcement as verified by a report filed by such personnel;
For alarms received from governmental building alarm systems.
If an alarm is received by the City of Maricopa Police Communications Center from an alarm system which has not been registered or renewed as required in Article 10-4 Alarm Systems, a civil penalty of $100 shall be assessed against the alarm user for having failed to register or renew the alarm system within the City of Maricopa. Such penalty shall be in addition to the false alarm charges assessed to the alarm user.
Should a disagreement arise over whether any particular false alarm fee or civil penalty should be assessed, the alarm user may appeal by submitting a letter of appeal within 10 calendar days of the date of invoice. Failure to submit an appeal within ten (10) days of the notification date shall constitute a waiver of the right to contest the assessment of fees or civil penalties.
Appeals must be mailed or emailed to:
City of Maricopa Police Department
Attn: Alarm Administrator
39675 W. Civic Center Plaza South
Maricopa, AZ 85139
A full copy of the appeal requirements is available on the Internet.
Suspension of Response
All false alarm fees or civil penalties are due and payable within 30 days from the date of invoice. If an invoice remains unpaid, a $5 late fee will be assessed for every 30 days the account remains delinquent. The failure of an alarm user to make payment of any assessed civil penalty(ies) within ninety (90) days from the date of the invoice may result in discontinuance of law enforcement response.
Law enforcement response may be reinstated for a delinquent account, if the alarm user:
Pays, or otherwise resolves to the satisfaction of the alarm administrator, all fees and/or penalties.
Response to an alarm system may be suspended if the location has more than eight (8) false alarms per registration year and/or fails to pay fees or penalties as set forth in this chapter. Response may be reinstated if the alarm user submits to the alarm administrator:
A $20 reinstatement fee.
Sufficient articulation in writing, addressing proactive measures to be implemented, preventing false alarms in the future.
Certification from an alarm company, properly licensed, stating that the alarm system has been inspected and/or repaired (if necessary), only with cases where repetitive, obvious malfunctioning of the alarm system occurred.
Alarm users offered awareness class
The City of Maricopa offers a free online false alarm school for alarm users who have had false alarms. The alarm user awareness class is available on the internet.
The class and the alarm user awareness class acknowledgement form both need to be completed within thirty (30) calendar days of the original notification date.
The class can only be taken for one false alarm in a twelve-month period.
If the alarm user does not complete the on-line alarm training and submit the acknowledgement within the proper time frame, a civil penalty of $50 will be assessed to the alarm user’s account.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Who needs an alarm permit?
A: Every residence and business within Maricopa city limits with an audible alarm, monitored or not, is required to obtain an alarm permit from the Maricopa Police Department within 10 days of installation or 30 days from obtaining possession of a property with an alarm system previously installed.
Q: Where do I go to apply for or renew my alarm permit?
A: Visit the city web page here and follow the instructions to apply for an alarm permit.
Q: What is the cost of an annual alarm permit?
A: Alarm permits cost $20 annually. A $5 per month late fee will be assessed for every 30 days the alarm permit fee is not paid in full.
Q: How long is my permit good for?
A: Alarm permits expire 12 months from the date of application. A renewal letter will be e-mailed approximately 30 days before the expirations date with instructions on how to renew an alarm permit.
Q: What do I do if I need to make changes, or cancel my alarm permit?
A: To make any changes or cancel an alarm permit simply log into SMARTgov and update the information. Follow the same process to cancel an alarm permit.
Q: Does my alarm permit transfer if I move to a new house?
A: No. Alarm permits are non-transferable and non-refundable. You will need to apply for a new alarm permit for the new residence.
Q: What happens if I don’t get an alarm permit and the police are called to my property?
A: If the police are called to your property and no alarm permit is on file, a Failure to Permit Fee, in addition to the false alarm will be mailed to your property or emailed within 30 days. Failure to permit/pay the assessment will lead to further civil penalties.
Q: I have additional questions about alarm permits, who do I contact?
A: Any additional questions can be e-mailed to email@example.com. Your e-mail will be returned within two-three business days.
Q: What is a false alarm?
A: City of Maricopa ordinance 10-4 Alarm Systems defines a false alarm as the activations of an alarm system through mechanical or electronic failure, malfunction, improper installation or the negligence of the alarm user, his/her employees or agents, and signals activated to summon law enforcement personnel.
Q: What does the city hope to accomplish by enforcing the false alarm ordinance?
A: The City and the Police Departments goal is to reduce the number of false alarms that occur in the City of Maricopa, allowing the police department to use their resources more effectively.
Q: Are false alarms that big of a problem?
A: Yes! Approximately 95 percent of all alarm calls are found to be false. This amounts to hundreds of hours spent responding to false alarms by police officers.
Q: I received a false alarm letter, what do I do next?
A: If your alarm was a true false alarm, follow the instructions on the letter to pay the false alarm fee, or complete the online alarm user awareness class. If you believe you were charged a false alarm fee erroneously, follow the steps to appeal the false alarm.
Q: What is alarm user awareness class?
A: False alarm school is an easy power point presentation that give great tips on how to prevent false alarms. This can only be taken once every 12 months, and it waives only one false alarm fee for that permit year, up to $75.00.
Q: How do I appeal a false alarm charge?
A: All appeals must be submitted in writing within 10 days of the letter. You will receive a written response within 30 days from the date of appeal with the outcome. The appeals form and further instructions can be found here.
Q: What happens if I have multiple false alarms in one year?
A: Each false alarm is charged a separate fee, and payment is due within 30 days of the false alarm letter. The police department will cease responding to alarm calls at a property after eight (8) false alarm calls within a 12 month period; with the exception of duress, holdup, robbery, and panic alarms.
Q: I have additional questions about false alarms, who do I contact?
A: Any additional questions can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your e-mail will be returned within two – three business days.