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$200 charge for response to alarms without city permits

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POSTED March 2, 2009 4:25 a.m.
If you have an alarm and you don’t have a free city permit it is going to cost you $200 if it goes off and Manteca Police respond after July 1.
That is one facet of a plan to reduce city costs exceeding $80,000 a year that are spent responding to false alarms plus to help free up police officers.
The City Council Tuesday will consider adopting a revised alarm response policy crafted by Police Chief Dave Bricker and fine tuned with the support of the alarm industry. The council meets at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.
The city currently allows two false alarm responses a month without charging. The third, fourth, and fifth false alarm each month results in a $50 charge each.
There is no charge currently for not having an alarm permit or for the owner failing to respond. The new ordinance charges $200 for no alarm permit and $100 if the owner fails to respond.
New rules would limit false alarms to two a year and not two a month. There is no charge for the first two responses. The third false response is $100, the fourth response is $200, and the fifth is $400.
If adopted, the city would give those who have alarms but no city permit for them until June 30 to obtain one. The alarm permit comes with details on the owner’s responsibility and city policies plus provides police with contact information.
Manteca has 23,618 residential units. There are currently 1,312 burglar alarm permits issued or about 5.6 percent of the housing stock. During 2008, police responded to 3,527 residential burglary alarms. Mechanical failure or owner error accounted for 98.7 percent of those calls and not criminal activity.
Each alarm response took an average of 18 minutes to respond, check the structure and contact the owner. Due to the nature of the calls it requires two officers. Manteca Police devoted 2,116 hours last year responding to false alarms.
The contract for alarm service is between the alarm company and the alarm owner and is not binding on the city.
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