The City Ordinance defines a false alarm as an alarm signal necessitating a response by the police department when an emergency does not exist.
An emergency is defined as: an occasion which reasonably calls for a response by the police department. A response due to failure of the alarm system or to personal error is not an emergency.
Alarms are a priority call in the dispatch center. When the officers respond to a residential or business alarm, they check the perimeter of the building and look for anything suspicious (i.e. pry marks on a door, broken window). They check to be sure all doors and windows are secure. If an emergency contact is available to let them in while they are there, they will search the interior of the building.
If the officers do not find any sign of an attempted break-in the alarm is designated as false.
Sometimes just a rattle on the door or window may activate the alarm. This could be set off by the wind or a customer attempting to enter a store unaware the store is closed. In these types of cases, it might mean the alarm is too sensitive. Balloons will set off interior motion detectors.
Disputing a False Alarm
Any person who disputes the false alarm designation is asked to send a written request or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org stating why they believe:
An emergency did exist
The false alarm resulted from an act of God, flooding or other violent natural condition