Irving, Texas, Creates New Alarm Ordinance

On November 16, 2006 the Irving City Council approved a revision to the existing municipal Alarm Ordinance. The new Alarm Systems Ordinance goes into effect on January 1, 2007 with an administrative thirty day non-enforcement "grace period" extending through January 31, 2007. This period is designed to allow for proper citizen notification and education on the new ordinance provisions.

Our newly drafted ordinance is aimed at curbing the growing burden of false alarm responses. The Irving Police Department responds to over 10,000 alarm calls annually. Over 98% of these alarm responses are false resulting in diverting valuable police resources from legitimate crime issues.

Additionally, the City of Irving has contracted with an outside alarm management company, ATB Services, to manage all alarm data processing, alarm billing and permit processing. You may see their name listed on materials and may also speak to their customer service representatives. They are conducting these transactions on the city's behalf.

Major Alarm System ordinance provisions are highlighted for easy reference;

Alarm system: Alarm system means a device that audibly or visually emits, transmits or relays a signal intended to summon emergency personnel of the city. Motor vehicle alarms, fire, smoke or water flow alarms are not regulated by this ordinance.

Permit required: All residential, commercial and multi family locations that have alarm systems are required to have a valid permit issued by the City of Irving. All alarm locations must possess a valid permit for the police department to respond to an alarm. Annual permit fee is $50 per year, except permit holders sixty five years or older pay $10 per year.

Permit duration: A permit is valid, unless revoked, from the date of issuance for one year. A permit will be automatically renewed for a one year period upon receipt of annual fee, unless revoked or cancelled.

Duties of alarm company: On the installation or activation of an alarm system, an alarm company shall distribute to the occupant information summarizing the applicable state law, municipal ordinance relating to alarm systems, information on how to operate their alarm system and how prevent false alarms. Alarm system companies shall notify the police department of installations or activations within thirty days.

False alarm service fees: Holder's of alarm permit shall pay false alarm service fees according to the listed schedule. No charge for 1-3 false alarm responses, $50 service fee for 4-5 false alarm responses, $75 service fee for 6-7 false alarm responses and $100 service fee for eight or more false alarm responses during any twelve months.

Revocation of alarm permit: The Chief of Police may revoke an alarm permit if there is; any violation of the alarm ordinance, false statement in alarm permit application, an alarm system generates more than twelve false alarms in any twelve months or permit holder fails to pay any fee assessed under this ordinance. An applicant or holder of an alarm permit may appeal the Chief's permit revocation decision to the City Manager within ten days of receiving the revocation notice.

You may also obtain an alarm permit application or reference the Alarm Systems Ordinance in it's entirety at the Irving Police Department web site located at www.irvingpd.com. An alarm permit clerk may be contacted at 972.721.2684 for further assistance.

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