Special Report: False Alarms

Alarm industry files injunction to block Los Angeles nonresponse
 - 
Sunday, June 1, 2003

LOS ANGELES - The alarm industry in Los Angeles has sought a legal avenue to block a controversial Los Angeles Police Department policy to stop responding to unverified burglar alarms in the city.

According to Les Gold, an attorney representing the industry, the Greater Los Angeles Security Alarm Association (GLASAA) filed the petition in California Superior Court in late March.

On April 7, Gold said the city asked for a continuance in the case, which was scheduled to be heard on April 18. According to Gold, GLASAA was prepared to agree to the city’s proposal to continue the case, provided the police department agrees to not implement the nonresponse policy until July 1. The policy was originally scheduled to go into effect on April 15.

When the city balked at that condition, Gold said GLASAA declined to support a continuance in the case, and it was placed on the court’s docket for a May 8 hearing. According to Gold, the city can not attempt to implement the policy until after the hearing.

The lawsuit asks the court to block the LAPD from implementing the policy for several reasons.

GLASAA officials have said that the policy conflicts with an existing city ordinance, and also contends that because the police commission acted without the authority of the city council, the policy is not legal.

While he did not want to discuss the specifics of the case before the hearing, Gold said he was “very confident” that the result would be favorable for the industry.

According to Jerry Lenander, GLASAA executive director, GLASAA felt that the lawsuit was “the only way to preserve the (current) level of public safety for 250,000 to 350,000 property owners in the city of Los Angeles.”

In addition to filing the injunction, GLASAA, in conjunction with the California Alarm Association has started a legal defense fund to allow members to help support the association’s efforts. Officials have set a $350,000 fundraising goal to cover legal fees incurred in the case.