Most aggressive no-response policy ever?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

FONTANA, Calif.--What is being deemed the most aggressive verified response ordinance in the United States passed the Fontana City Council Tuesday night. Morgan Hertel, president of The Command Center, attended the city council meeting and said the ordinance mandated that police not respond to alarms without audio, video or eyewitness verification of a break-in. The ordinance also specifies that forced entry must have occurred.
The most aggressive element of Fontana's ordinance is its fine structure. "If police respond to an alarm condition that does not have signs of forcible entry, a $200 fine will be issued to a dealer even in the case of a burglary," said Hertel. "Also, if a dealer calls in an alarm, whether it's valid or not, and it has not been verified either by audio, video or eyewitness, it's a $150 fine for a prohibited call, even if it ends up being a legitimate break-in," he said.
The ordinance will need to gain final approval at a Sept. 9 council meeting before it becomes legal. Hertel said council members were unclear regarding the effective date of this ordinance, but he expects it will be enforced within the next 30 to 45 days.
The city voted to enact this new ordinance following a May 8 court decision that ruled the city's no-response policy unlawfully contradicted its current ordinance (see "Court rules city must respond to alarms" at By changing the ordinance, the city is now able to re-establish its no-response policy.
Hertel said he did not expect the Inland Empire Alarm Association (IEAA), which brought legal action against the city for its no-response policy, to take any legal action in this situation. "The next step is to notify customers and let them know about this new policy and if they want to take up arms, they know where city hall is, too," he said.