Ninety-eight percent of the alarms that police respond to are false. The major cause of false alarms is user error. Each alarm response requires at least two patrol officers and averages 20 minutes per officer, per alarm. As a result, false alarms keep officers from responding to actual emergencies and other legitimate calls for service, and can cause a slower response time to real emergencies.
All residential and commercial alarm users in Union City are required to register for an alarm system permit. In addition, the alarm permit must be renewed each year.
Alarm Registration Fee: $49
Annual Renewal Fee: $21
Alarm Permit Application [PDF]
The alarm permit requires alarm users to provide the Police Department with the names, addresses and phone numbers of three persons available to respond to the premises of the activated alarm within 30 minutes should the need arise. The 30-minute time period is within industry standards and would have a positive impact on reducing the cost associated with responding to, and investigating, false alarms. Click on the Alarm Permit Application [PDF] to view the form. Print, complete and mail to:
Union City Revenue Department
Attn: Alarm Officer
34009 Alvarado-Niles Road
Union City, CA 94587
Please enclose permit fee and make check payable to City of Union City. For more information, please call 510.675.5431.
You can also now apply for, pay and renew your alarm permit online with the City.
The alarm ordinance encourages accountability and responsibility of the users by charging alarm users for false alarms. No alarm user is perfect. To that end, two (2) false alarms in a 12-month period (beginning with the first false alarm received) would be allowed without a penalty assessed. However, after two false alarms, a fee of $70 per false alarm response may be assessed against the alarm user, with a sixth false alarm resulting in the business/residence being placed on a non-response status. More than 2 false alarms in a 12-month period: $70 fine per false alarm.
Alarms that are not registered with the City could be placed on a non-response status until the alarm has been registered and a permit obtained. A non-response status means that police will not respond to the alarm. Alarm owners may continue to appeal fees and a non-response status. A non-response status would continue to apply to users who fail to pay false alarm fines within the established period.