Home & Business Alarm Permits in the City of Concord – New Fees Coming Soon

June 29, 2012 12:01 pm · 44 comments

Did you know? If you have a working alarm installed in your home or business and you live or work in the City of Concord, then you must get a permit from the City of Concord Police Department?

According to the Concord Municipal Code: No person shall install or use an alarm system on any premises within the City limits of concord until they have obtained an alarm use permit from the Concord Police Department.

The only exemption to this rule is: Alarm systems which are not designed to summon public and/or Concord Police Department attention, but which are privately monitored and responded to, are exempt from this requirement.

Currently, the City of Concord charges $40 for an alarm permit.

There are also false alarm fees, which are listed below:

  • False alarm 4, 5 and 6 in any 60 day period ‑ $135.00
  • False alarm 9, 10 and 11 in any 360 day period ‑ $135.00
  • False alarm 7 and 8 in any 60 day period ‑ $270.00
  • False alarm 12 and 13 in any 360 day period ‑ $270.00
  • Each additional false alarm after the 8th in any 60 day period ‑ $401.00
  • Each additional false alarm after the 13th in any 360 day period ‑ $401.00

However, if you have an alarm, all the information listed above could soon be changing in the next couple of years, because last week, the Concord City Council passed their budget, and in that budget was the following text….

A new fee will be developed and charged to property owners who have alarms on their properties to replace the City’s current system of charging just once when the system is first integrated with the Police Department.

The purpose of the fee is to more accurately reflect the service costs from the police department for responding to alarms. This fee is charged by many cities in the Bay Area. The fee and its implementation are still in developmental stages and once fully defined will be presented to the City Council for review and approval prior to imposition.

The fee is scheduled to start a phase-in period in FY 2014-15 and will generate approximately $500,000 per year when fully implemented.

The City of Concord’s Police Department responds to about 3,000 alarm calls every year, and close to 98% of those are false alarms.

For more information on getting a permit, please click HERE.

David June 29, 2012 at 10:26 AM

We had a false alarm once. 3 hours later the police arrived…which I say wouldn’t qualify as a response. So, thankfully it was a false alarm.

Enough Already! June 29, 2012 at 10:44 AM




Some Guy June 29, 2012 at 10:47 AM

We can’t protect your stuff. But we can charge you to do it!

Sinn Feiner June 29, 2012 at 10:59 AM

That’s a lot of wasted time on the CPD’s part for false alarms. You can’t blame them for wanting to charge a fee.

Anon777 June 29, 2012 at 11:01 AM

This is a crock of $hit! I can see them charging for a false alarm but not to get a permit. And if they only responded 3 hours later (as David above stated) I wouldn’t pay the bill. They could kiss my a$$!

Chester E. Kitty June 29, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Figures! They should ONLY be charging for false alarms! I have had an alarm for two years and have not had ONE false alarm … but apparently I’m still going to get penalized for it! Unbelievable!!

I might as well just quit my job, foreclose on my house and go on welfare because that’s what the government wants! The middle class is on its way out! Pathetic!

Anon June 29, 2012 at 11:10 AM

I agree with Anon777 and feel for David.

If there isnt any meat or claw back provision from the city should the CPD decide to takes its sweet time in responding, then said homeowner shouldnt have to pay squat.

Heres a question. Do both businesses and homes have the same alarm permit scheme?? If so Ill bet anyone a dollar that any bank alarm (business) is responded to pretty damn quick. Why arent home alarms dealt with the same way?

Not so sure June 29, 2012 at 11:10 AM

I don’t own an alarm system, but I’m going to agree with Chester Kitty. Charge ONLY for false alarms. One is too many. Start charging fat fees at 2 false alarms.
The permit thing is BS.

Rebel June 29, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Wow, we will get fines for trying to protect our family and homes?

There is one part I don’t get: ” Alarm systems which are not designed to summon public and/or Concord Police Department attention”

So if I don’t have my alarm setup with a phone line (or monitoring service), I still have to get a permit becuase my audible alarm ‘summons public help( from my neighbors? I thought the whole point of his fee/permit was to help recoop police costs responding to alarm calls. Why should I have to pay if my alarm audibly sounds, yet doesn’t contact the police?

anon June 29, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Concord Municipal Code, who enforces them? Nobody. You should see all the garbage cans in the street or in all of my neighbors front yards 7 days a week.

John Galt June 29, 2012 at 11:17 AM

So if my alarm goes off and when the police show there’s nobody there, who’s to say my alarm didn’t just scare off the burglar?

? June 29, 2012 at 11:26 AM

How do you know it is a false alarm if the alarm goes off and the burgler ran away?

alarmed June 29, 2012 at 11:47 AM

That’s alarming.

Parsnip June 29, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Perhaps it can be considered an assurance that if they DON’T respond in a timely manner, there could be an issue with the city.

annonq June 29, 2012 at 11:53 AM

I have all this extra money I’m not using, I think I move to Concord. I wouldn’t live there if houses were free. Sorry residents, nothing personal, it’s just that your formerly beautiful town is run by idiots.

LQ June 29, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Just because “This fee is charged by many cities in the Bay Area” isn’t a good enough reason to charge a fee here.

That said, I get it that false alarms cause the police to be in one place when they may be needed in another – but the people of Concord should have a say in how a ‘fee structure’ for false alarms will be set up, not just a blanket set of fees to reach a specific $ amount. Was there an analysis showing how much this cost Concord in the last 12 months? Who did the an analysis? How did they come with the fee structure?

Where did this “fact” come from?
The City of Concord’s Police Department responds to about 3,000 alarm calls every year, and close to 98% of those are false alarms.

Why ‘about’? What about giving us the actual calls for last 12 months? and where are the facts showing how many alarms they got that they did NOT respond to? How about the facts showing how quickly (or not) they arrived to the ‘false alarms’?

Anon666 June 29, 2012 at 11:57 AM

concord sucks, these fees are ridiculous

anon June 29, 2012 at 12:05 PM

I don’t want my tax dollars going to support someone with an alarm. If all households had alarms then they shouldn’t charge for this.

But they don’t so those that want extra protection should pay for it. Especially if it is not working right.

Screwy Louie June 29, 2012 at 12:06 PM

With the low cost of live video/sound to a smartphone, why pay them when
you can moniter it yourself. I can pull up a camera in less than 20 seconds. If somethings not right, I can call a neighbor, friend or even the cops and get a quicker response than going through a dispatcher.
I can also give a description of what I see to assist them.

Concord Mike June 29, 2012 at 12:09 PM

I Don’t think this fee applies to most of us who have residential alarm systems through vendors like ADT or Bay Alarm. These companies do not tie our systems directly to the PD. They call the PD the old fashioned way – a human being calls – if an alarm is triggered.

I do think fees for false alarms are appropriate.

@ john galt & #12 June 29, 2012 at 12:11 PM

A broken window or a busted down door would be my first guess.

Noj June 29, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Fight back against City fees. Insurance Agents and Real Estate Agents are exempt by the California Constitution from paying City Tax/License Fees but Concord doesn’t mention this in their Business License brochure. I’ll bet there are hundreds of Insurance Agents and Real Estate Agents in the City of Concord who are paying for a city business tax/license when they are exempt from doing so.
California Consitution, Article XIII, sec 28f (3): http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/.const/.article_13
Sample Business Tax/License Exemption Letter: http://www.naifacalifornia.org/Advocacy/PDFdocs/Positions/TaxExemptionLetter.pdf
See also: Marsh & McLennan of California, Inc., v. City of Los Angeles, 62 Cal. App. 3d 108, 132 Cal. Rptr. 796 (1976)

Spectator85 June 29, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Let’s pay the police to do their job!!! wait, what?

Fred P. June 29, 2012 at 12:23 PM

@annonq#15 – only problem is that the idiots running the city are elected by (you guessed it)…… the voters who don’t vett the candidates!

So that puts the onus back on the (idiot) voters).

While I can understand “fines” being levied to cover police response for multiple false alarms, I would have a MAJOR issue in paying a fine if it took more than 30 minutes for them to respond – unless there major issues that pulled them ALL off their assigned beats…. and I doubt THAT’S the case. And I still don’t see the “need” for a permit to have an alarm installed.

Sounds like the city council needs a housecleaning.

Loud June 29, 2012 at 12:37 PM

What is the city going to do about boom boxes on wheels pumping out a thousand watts that you can hear from 2 blocks away. They set off car alarms and business alarms.

Wisecracker June 29, 2012 at 12:47 PM

According to the above statement which says per Concord Municipal Code, no one shall install or operate an alarm sytem…….

So, it would seem to me the alarm companies such as ADT, Bay Alarm, Protection 1, should be pulling a permit since they are doing the installation.

Alarm Permit June 29, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Concord Mike, We have a monitored alarm by Denalect Alarm Co and have a Concord Alarm Permit. Ours does not go directly to the PD. We had a false alarm back in 1997 (a spider crawled in front of an infrared motion sensor) and the PD sent us an Alarm application and said we had to return it with the money within 15 days.

Alarm Permit June 29, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Concerning the false alarm in 1997, I worked in downtown Concord at the time and the alarm company called me at work asking if I would like to dispatch the PD. I said yes, and I immediately drove home (off Cowell Rd). The police were waiting in my driveway when I arrived at home 7 minutes later. Thank you CPD.

Powder Keg June 29, 2012 at 12:56 PM

@concord mike, we bought our house with an alarm already in it and when we moved in we called ADT to set up monitoring. Last year we were on vacation and got a call at 3am from ADT saying that the alarm was going off. They called CPD and we were told that it was a false alarm.
Two weeks after we returned home from vacation we received a letter from CPD saying that they respond to a false alarm and that we didn’t have a permit. We were never told by ADT that we needed a permit, which we have since paid our $40 (do we have to pay additional fees now that the cost is going up?) About the false alarm, come to find out a couple of sensors faulted out causing the false alarm. We had to have ADT out to replace the sensors and have had no problems since. So yes, you do need a permit if you have a monitored system.

animal June 29, 2012 at 12:57 PM

i’ve had alarm systems since late 70’s. i got a notice in the mail a couple of years ago that stated i need to pay for the permit. i called p.d. and told them that since my system was installed before they required a permit i should be “grandfathered” and do not need a permit. i tossed the notice and haven’t heard from them again. give it a shot, it worked for me!

JJ June 29, 2012 at 1:30 PM

If Concord PD took care of the criminal element then we wouldn’t need alarms. We have a neighborhood meth head selling drugs and they have never done anything about it. Now there are more drug dealers. We got an alarm after a burglary. False alarms have happened occassionally but I went home a checked it out – not the police. I don’t mind paying an annual permit IF it is not ridicuously large. Otherwise, good luck getting it from me.

Tea Party June 29, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Sorry, don’t we already pay for police services?
False alarm? Too bad. It’s the cost of doing business with the public City of Concord. When did it not become their job to check out alarms?

Seeing that the burglaries are rising in Concord you think perhaps this is a money making scheme? Na.

I believe it DOES apply to alarms like ADT, Bay, etc. June 29, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Clayton is a bargain: $25 to register an alarm / For every false alarm in excess of three during any thirty-day period or more than four during a year, the user shall pay a false alarm fee of $50.00. This does includ ADT/Bay/Monitronics, etc.

We knew nothing about this, and had lived there with an alarm since 2001. This ordinance took effect in 2003, but only includes alarms installed after August 2003…we had a newer alarm installed last year, and recently received a bill from the City of Clayton for the registration.

We have had several (maybe 5) false alarms over the past 10 years, none of which we caused. They were due to electrical problems or the adhesive weakening and the wires slipping or some such thing. They occurred in the middle of the day, ADT called the police and us, the police went to check it out and found nothing amiss. The false alarms were annoying, but still having the alarm system gives us peace of mind when we are away.

Tea Party 32 June 29, 2012 at 2:40 PM

see post 18. You people are stupid.

this guy June 29, 2012 at 2:53 PM

My alarm went off when my numnuts cousin came to my house, (kinda counts as a false alarm) and cpd was there within minutes. Shocking it was a great response time!

Timeto Knockit June 29, 2012 at 2:54 PM

What HORSE $HIT!!!! Everyone should NOT conform to this TAX!!! Screw them, what are they gonna do if you dont pay the permit fee? Come to your house and rip it out of the wall… Noooo, that would require them to actually come to your house!!!! The thought that they actually “respond” to alarms is almost as BS at this TAX!!!

animal June 29, 2012 at 3:00 PM

i see why they want the money for now-that lovely $380,000 war wagon they just bought!

You're reading too fast June 29, 2012 at 6:43 PM

@ animal

Read it again. It was donated to the CPD. It’s worth $380,000.

@time to knockit June 29, 2012 at 7:16 PM

If you don’t pay they will send it to small claims court, you will lose, you will have a judgement against you. They can petition to examine your assets and take it from you. If you have no bank accounts they will send it to the state and the next time you get a tax refund, you won’t. Go ahead don’t pay.

Grewah June 29, 2012 at 7:16 PM

All I say is “define false alarm”
Knowing the normal response by the Concord Police I agree with most of the people here. Just another way to raise revenue.

Rob June 29, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Folks if you are upset about them charging you to respond to false alarms – get a better alarm system that doesn’t generate so many false alarms.

OR – disconnect your alarm system from notifying external agencies.

Don’t expect everyone else to pay for your inability to control your alarm system.

Concernicus June 29, 2012 at 8:25 PM


annonq June 29, 2012 at 9:33 PM

Geeze slagheap, talk about totally missing the point.

anonares June 30, 2012 at 7:04 AM

A $40.00 dollar fee would just cover the cost of the City to record that you have an alarm. You people are cheap and I mean really cheap. I have had an alarm for 20 years and have had maybe 6 false alarms in that period. One time someone had broken in and the alarm sent them on their way and a neighbor I.D. the person leaving my house. The other 6 times the officers responded quickly and I was embarrassed that my alarm had wasted their time. If my customers called me repeatedly about a problem that didn’t exist, I would charge them for my time. Only an entitled princess would complain about these charges. 4 false alarms in a 60 day period! $135.00 dollars hardly covers 2 cars gas for 4 trips.

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