Alarm Permit Information
Answer: Anyone operating a burglary alarm system (monitored or non-monitored) located in the City of University Place.
Question: How do I apply for the alarm permit?
Answer: By mail: You can call 253.798.3206 and request an application be mailed to you or you can print a copy by scrolling to the bottom of this page. The cost of a permit is $23. A permit will be mailed back to you, usually within a day of receipt.
Question: Where does the alarm permit sticker go?
Answer: The sticker needs to be displayed on or near the main entrance to the premise where it is clearly visible to responding officers. The permit sticker must be displayed at the address listed on the application or it is not valid. Some owners post their sticker on a window near the main entrance next to their alarm monitoring company information. The sticker can be affixed permanently to the outside of a window or taped securely to the inside of the window so that the number faces outside. A main entrance door or other part of the premise may also be chosen to display the permit sticker. The important thing to remember is that it must be clearly visible to a responding law officer. NOTE: the street address should also be clearly displayed at or near the front of the premise.
Question: What if I move?
Answer: The permit is not transferable. If you move or sell your home or business, you need to contact the University Place Police Department and cancel your permit so you will not be held responsible for others using the alarm. Remove the permit sticker from the residence/business (Note: the sticker is not valid at any other address). The new alarm user needs to apply for his/her own permit and supply up-to-date owner and emergency contact information.
Question: What is a "false alarm?"
Answer: An alarm is presumed to be false if the officers cannot find any evidence of intrusion or other unlawful act which might have caused the alarm to sound.
Question: What causes false alarms?
Answer: The largest single cause of false alarms is human error. Ensure that everyone who uses the alarm system knows how it works, how to turn it on and off, and what to do should anyone accidentally set it off. Everyone should practice using the system until they feel confident about its operation. Test your alarm system at least once each month to confirm that it is in correct working order. When testing your alarm system, notify your monitoring center before beginning the test. If you have any doubts about your alarm system, call your alarm company immediately for service. Another common cause of false alarms is weak batteries. Make sure batteries are fully charged or replaced on a regular basis. Check sensors, make sure doors fit well in casings, have animals contained so they do not set off the alarm, and do not leave balloons floating in the house.
Question: What if I accidentally set off my alarm?
Answer:First, turn off (disarm) your alarm. If your alarm is monitored, immediately telephone the monitoring company's central station and have them cancel the police response. Do not assume that the police were not notified if your alarm went off for only a few seconds. If your alarm system is not monitored and only rings locally turn off (disarm) your alarm. The 911 Center will only take cancellation calls from monitoring companies.
If you have a monitored system: Remember that no alarm system rings directly to the Police Department. When your alarm is activated, the signal is sent to the central monitoring station. There the operator contacts 911 dispatch and informs them of your name, address, and telephone number, as well as the nature of the alarm being received. This information is then transmitted to the officers on patrol who respond to the scene of the alarm. The role of the officer sent to respond is to check for criminal activity. NOTE: Your monitoring company is providing a service you pay for, and is responsible for following procedures given by you in regards to your alarm system. Call your monitoring company. Make sure they have step-by-step instructions on what you want done when your alarm goes off. Ensure they have accurate information of names and telephone numbers to call. Find out all you can about your alarm system and how to work with your monitoring company.
Question: What happens if a police officer responds to a false alarm?
Answer: You will be given or mailed copies of a False Alarm Compliance Report written by the officer who responds to your alarm. The lower portion of the form needs to be filled out and the yellow copy returned. The pink copy is for your records. If you find evidence of an attempted break in, forced entry or other evidence of a burglary call the University Place Police Department at (253) 798-3206 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to correct the false alarm report.
Question: What can I do to assist the Police Department?
Answer: Cancel police response immediately through your monitoring company when false alarms occur. Make sure your address numbers are easily visible from the street, day and night. If you have an address that is difficult to find, be sure to give specific driving directions to your alarm monitoring company to be passed along to the police at the time of the alarm's activation. Make sure your alarm company decal and your alarm system permit are visible and easy to locate. Supply emergency contact names and telephone numbers to your alarm monitoring company in case you cannot be located at the time your alarm system is activated. Update this information as often as needed with the Police Department by calling (253) 798-3206.
Question: How much are false alarm fees?
Answer: Each permit holder is allowed one (1) false alarm response within a six (6) month period. A service charge of fifty dollars ($57.50) is charged for the second false alarm during a six (6) month period, seventy-five dollars ($86.25) for the third, and one hundred dollars ($115.00) for all subsequent false alarms.
Approximately 98% of all alarm signals are false alarms. False alarms cost you money. Help reduce the number of false alarms reported to the police by staying alert to potential problems with your alarm system and by using your alarm system in a responsible manner. The City of University Place and the University Place Police Department want you to feel safe and secure with your alarm system, without the concern and expense of false alarms. The goal is to reduce the number of false alarms that officers currently respond to, so that their time can be more effectively utilized responding to criminal matters and community issues facing us all.
Question: What happens if I do not comply?
Answer:Operating an alarm system without a valid permit is a criminal misdemeanor violation of City of University Place Municipal Code 9.10.030. Alarm owners without permits will be notified that unless they comply, the Police Department will discontinue responding to alarms that occur at the premise.
Revoked or invalidated permits: The alarm permit may be revoked if more than five (5) false alarm responses occur during a six (6) month period, or if a service charge is not paid within sixty (60) days of billing.