Bellevue Police have been fielding a number of phone calls and emails since announcing residential and commercial alarm owners need to register their systems under a new program meant to curb responses to false alarms. The department is now providing a FAQ sheet and considering producing a tutorial video. The FAQ sheet is available below the original story.
Bellevue is requiring all alarm owners to register with the city’s independent contractor in order to monitor false alarm activations, the frequency of which will now mean fines for residents and businesses.
The city council on May 4 approved a four-year contract with AOT Public Safety Corporation to manage Bellevue’s program, which requires alarm owners to pay an annual $25 registration fee — $12 for seniors and the disabled — and a $100 fine for a false alarm. Panic, silent, robbery, burglary and duress false alarm calls will result in a $200 fine.
Under a false alarm ordinance adopted by the council in December, an alarm awareness class may be taken to avoid the first fine. Alarm companies also are required to call a homeowner two times when an alarm is activated.
The city reports an annual average of 3,300 false alarm calls and 3,871 in 2014, which amounted to $125,000 in police staff time, according to a city news release. Enacting penalties for false alarms is expected to reduce these occurrences immensely.
Registration started Monday and ends Sept. 30. Annual registration is required and can be completed online at www.crywolfservices.com/bellevuewa/. People who register this year, however, will not be required to register again until January 2017. Those who fail to register by deadline face a $100 penalty after 30 days.