The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office reminds county residents with security alarms to apply for an Alarm Permit or you may be fined.
An updated master fee schedule and a revised county ordinance recently adopted by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors imposes revised fees for false alarms, permit violations and late penalties, in addition to Alarm Permit and renewal fees for residents in the unincorporated areas of the county.
Pursuant to Humboldt County Code Chapter 916, all persons with monitored alarm systems - any residential or business security system that requests law enforcement response with activation- are required to obtain an Alarm Permit for the system every two years. The code was originally adopted in 1991 due to excessive false alarms impacting the ability of Sheriff’s deputies to respond to valid alarms and other emergencies. Thirty years later, the permitting system remains an important tool to ensure deputies are available to respond to emergencies promptly.
“In 2020 the Sheriff’s Office received more than 1,400 alarm calls; 800 of those incidents were found to be false alarms,” Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal said. “False alarms impact our ability to respond quickly to true emergencies, tying up deputy time and wasting limited resources. Alarm Permits and false alarm fees help to recoup some of those lost costs and motivate alarm owners to reduce and eliminate false alarms of their systems.”
To apply for an Alarm Permit, residents should first download the Alarm Permit Application Form from the Sheriff’s Office website. The application should be completed and returned to the Sheriff’s Office Main Station with payment of the New Alarm Permit Fee ($50). Residents must apply for a permit prior to installing a monitored security system or be subject to a $200 fine. Permits must be renewed every two years for a renewal fee of $25.
Under the revised fee schedule, residents with an Alarm Permit on file are granted two free false alarms per 12-month period. A third false alarm within that timeframe will subject the alarm owner to a $50 fine, with each subsequent false alarm fee increasing in cost, maxing out at $200 per false alarm for six or more false alarms in a 12-month period. Residents may also be subject to late penalties for failure to pay any of the above alarm fees.
Permitting requirements only apply to monitored alarm systems. Residents owning cameras or other security devices that are not monitored by a security company or trigger a law enforcement response upon activation are not mandated to obtain a permit under County Code Chapter 916.
See the full county fee schedule and revised Alarm Permit fees for 2021 at https://humboldtgov.org/264/Fee-Schedule.
Read Humboldt County Code Section 916 | False Alarms.