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National and local statistics show that fines paid directly by homeowners and businesses do not always have a significant impact on reducing the number of false alarms. Alarm monitoring companies have benefited from police response to their customers’ alarms without any accountability for the accuracy or reliability of those alarms.
Everett Police expects our False Alarm Reduction Program to reduce false alarms and the number of unnecessary police responses to alarm activations by holding both alarm monitoring companies and alarm users accountable for reporting alarms which are determined to be false.
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An alarm is presumed to be false if police units were dispatched to a location reporting an alarm activation, and the resulting investigation at the location finds no evidence of either intrusion, the commission of or an attempt to commit a crime, or a situation that warrants an emergency police response.
Everett Police responds to about 5,000 alarm activations every year. More than 90% of them are found to be false. Additionally, many alarm sites generate repeated false alarms due to poor maintenance or improper use.
Alarm responses are a high priority for police and preempt many other 911 calls for service. When the alarm turns out to be false, it wastes time and valuable public resources, and can also delay responses to other important calls. By charging a fee, the police department expects to see a meaningful reduction in the number of false alarms, improved service delivery and enhanced public safety.
Fees are billed to the alarm company, or to the alarm user if there is no alarm company monitoring the alarm system.
There will be no fee if the call is cancelled before police are dispatched to the alarm. Once officers are dispatched, a fee will be assessed if it is determined the alarm was false.
If you feel that a false alarm fee has been assessed incorrectly, you can request a review of the incident. Instructions for requesting a review are included with the false alarm notice. Instructions for review and appeals may also be found at everettwa.gov/AlarmAppeals.
You will need to provide the police department with a reason for the dispute along with evidence that there was an actual crime, attempted crime, or emergency (example: evidence of a burglary or attempted burglary). The police department will take a written statement for the investigation of any incident where it is determined there was an actual crime or emergency.
False alarm penalties will not be waived for accidental activations or human error.
If you have been notified that your alarm will be assessed a false alarm fee and you have questions, you may contact Central Square Technology at 866-683-0824 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday or by email.
Additional information about the False Alarm Ordinance, tips to reduce false alarms, and data about false alarm responses can be found at everettwa.gov/FalseAlarms.
For public records requests, visit the City of Everett website to obtain a copy of the police incident, or go to the Everett Police Department public records counter located at 3002 Wetmore Ave., Everett, WA 98201.
Companies providing alarm monitoring services for sites in the City of Everett are required to have an alarm company operator license:
Alarm companies are also required to provide updated subscriber information to the City of Everett monthly, among other requirements.
Operator licenses are available online. Central Square Technologies will assist alarm companies by phone at 866-683-0824 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, by email or mail at PO Box 35146; Seattle, WA 98124-5146.
If you use a false alarm monitoring company, false alarm response fees will typically be paid by the monitoring company, and the monitoring company may add the fee to your monthly bill.
If you do not use a false alarm monitoring company and received an invoice for a false alarm response fee, instructions for making payment are included with the invoice. You may pay the invoice online or by mail at: PO Box 35146; Seattle, WA 98124-5146. Fees paid online by credit card are subject to a $3.00 convenience charge for amounts of $100.00 or less, or a 3% convenience charge for all amounts over $100.00.
Please contact Central Square Technologies at 866-683-0824 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, or by email for assistance with billing.