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False Alarm Reduction Unit

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St. Cloud, Fl – On October 9th, 2014, the City Council of St. Cloud passed and adopted a False Alarm Ordinance for Police Response, ordinance # 2014-29. The ordinance became effective January 1st, 2015. As result, the St. Cloud Police Department has implemented a new program to reduce the number of false alarm activations in the city, and subsequently, cut down on the amount of time officers spend responding to false alarms. 

Under the new program, City of St. Cloud residents and businesses are now required to register their alarm systems. The alarm registration process will begin May 1st, 2015 and all alarms will have to be registered by July 1st, 2015. The cost to register an alarm is $10. There is a $100 fine for not registering an alarm by July 1st, 2015. Residents and community members can register online with the St. Cloud Police Department/False Alarm Reduction Unit at https://www.crywolfservices.com/stcloudfl. A link to the registration website is also available through the city’s website at www.stcloud.org under “Police Department.” The website will also contain helpful tips to consumers on how to reduce a majority of false alarms that are preventable with proper operation.

SCPD will begin tracking the number of false alarms from any one property within the city’s jurisdiction.  In cases where police respond to three or more false alarms per year, the registered alarm user will face a series of graduated fines, ranging from $50 to $500 for each violation.  

“Through this program, we are reaching a better balance between the need to respond to each expected emergency and the need to hold alarm users responsible for the systems they install,” said Chief of Police, Pete Gauntlett. 

In recent years, false alarms account for approximately 98% of all alarms to which the SCPD has had to respond. These false alarms divert law enforcement resources from crimes in progress, other emergency situations and time spent patrolling their beats.

Other communities have had great success reducing the number of false alarms when they require alarms to be registered and assess cost recovery for false alarms. Cities using this program have reduced the number of false alarms by as much as 70% in one year after implementing an alarm registration system.

 “Our police officers must take each and every alarm call seriously.  In nearly every case, however, our officers arrive to discover a false alarm was caused by accident or error,” said Chief of Police, Pete Gauntlett. “This new program will help to ensure that officers are available to patrol our neighborhoods and respond to emergencies.”

 
Register your alarm here.


ONLINE REGISTRATION

FORMS TO REGISTER VIA MAIL: Click on links below

Alarm Account Registration Form

Customer Registration Form


INFORMATIONAL BROCHURE (ENGLISH/SPANISH)

TO FILE AN APPEAL VIA MAIL:  Click on link below.

Appeal form

TO FILE AN APPEAL ONLINE: Click on link below.

www.crywolfservices.com/stcloudfl   (Once on this website, click on the Frequently Asked Questions link)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

 

FAQ.jpg

 

 

 

Why was a new alarm ordinance adopted?

 

To prevent unnecessary emergency response to false alarms, the City adopted an alarm ordinance to encourage all alarm users to maintain the mechanical reliability of, and to properly use their alarm equipment. Excessive false alarms cost the City thousands of dollars each year and take police officers away from actual emergencies and problem areas. The City Council finds that excessive false alarms over-burden the St. Cloud Police Department’s limited resources. Therefore, this Ordinance has been adopted to establish an Alarm System Code providing for the registration of alarm systems and for penalties for excessive false alarms.  To read the full ordinance, click here - Alarm Ordinance

 

What constitutes a false alarm?

The City of St. Cloud alarm ordinance defines a false alarm as: "the activation of an alarm system through mechanical or electronic failure, malfunction, improper installation, or the negligence of the alarm user, his/her employees or agents, and which causes law enforcement personnel to respond. An alarm is presumed false within the meaning of this article when, upon inspection by the St. Cloud Police Department, evidence indicates that no unauthorized entry, robbery, or other such crime was committed or attempted in or on the premises which would have activated a properly functioning alarm system. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a false alarm shall not include an alarm which can reasonably be determined to have been caused or activated by unusually violent conditions of nature nor does it include other extraordinary circumstances not reasonably subject to control by the alarm user."

 

Who is required to register their alarm?

Everyone operating an alarm system inside the city limits is required to register their alarm systems. Car/boat alarms, life alert systems, and fire alarms are not included in the registration requirements.

 

How do I register my alarm system?

Please complete the online registration form at https://www.crywolfservices.com/stcloudfl or mail in a completed registration form to the City of St. Cloud False Alarm Reduction Unit (FARU). You may also register by phone at (877) 893-5270 Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

 

What is the cost of an alarm permit registration?

The initial registration cost of an alarm permit is $10.00. The annual renewal cost of an alarm permit is $10.00. The renewal fee is waived if the alarm user has had no false alarms within the prior 12 month period. Alarm users will be assessed a $100 civil penalty for having a false alarm while being unregistered with the program. The alarm user will be given 30 days from the invoice date to register until the $100 fine is assessed.

 

When do I renew my alarm permit?

Alarm permits need to be renewed annually, even if a renewal fee is not being charged. You will receive a notice to renew your permit prior to your annual renewal date. It is also important to update your account if any information regarding your permit has changed. You can do so at any time online at https://www.crywolfservices.com/stcloudfl or by phone at (877) 893-5270, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

 

What are the fines associated with false alarms?

Police Alarm Activation:

First through Second False Alarm None

Third through Fifth False Alarm $50

Sixth through Seventh False Alarm $100

Eight through Ninth False Alarm $250

Tenth and Over False Alarm $500

Failure to Report Update Information $25

False Alarm Activation while Suspended:

Alarm Activation fee in addition to $100 fee per incident

 

If I am assessed a fine/fee, can I pay online?

Yes, you can pay online at this website: https://www.crywolfservices.com/stcloudfl. You will need to use your account number and password. All payments are processed through a secured online payment system.

 

If I choose to pay my fine/fee by check, where do I send it?

The mailing address is:
City of St. Cloud False Alarm Reduction Unit
PO Box 865224
Orlando, FL 32886-5224

Why is the address to send payment different from the City address?

 

The City has procured and authorized an outsourced company called Public Safety Corporation/CryWolf to process permit registrations, invoices, and payments. All payments made via mail are transferred to a protected account at the City’s financial institution.


If I disagree with an assessed fee, can I appeal?


 

The Alarm User may appeal the assessment of penalties to the St. Cloud Police Department by setting forth in writing the reasons for the appeal within ten (10) days after the date of notification of the assessment of the penalty. The Alarm User aives their right to appeal assessments of fees and/or fines if notice of appeal is not submitted within the allotted amount of time. Appeals may be submitted on the website at https://www.crywolfservices.com/stcloudfl, emailed to or mailed to:

City of St. Cloud False Alarm Reduction Unit
PO Box 865224
Orlando, FL 32886-5224

Faxed appeals will not be accepted. The Alarm User will be notified in writing of the appeal decision. If the request is 
denied, payment shall be due fifteen (15) days after the date of mailing of the decision, unless otherwise determined by the code enforcement board or its successor entity. The decision of the code enforcement board or its successor entity shall be final.

Be sure to include the following in your appeal:

  • Your name
  • Your email address (if applicable)
  • The alarm location
  • Date of the false alarm
  • Your permit number
  • Reasons for the appeal
  • Any supporting evidence



If I disagree with the Alarm Administrator’s or his/her designee’s review finding, can I appeal that decision?

Yes, the review findings can be appealed to the code enforcement board or its successor entity and their decision is final.

 

Can the Police Department suspend alarm response to my location?

Police response to your location will never be suspended, but your alarm permit can be suspended due to non-payment. This would lead to additional fees being added to your account.

 

Is there a returned check fee?

Yes, there is a returned check fee schedule based on the amount of the payment returned:

 

Under $50 $25 fee
$50-$299.99 $30 fee
$300 and Up $40 fee or 5% (whichever is greater)

 

I received duplicate alarm invoices at my address; what can I do?

If you received a duplicate alarm invoice, please contact us at (877) 893-5270, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, so we can delete the incorrect invoice(s). If you are directed to a voicemail box, please leave a message with your name, address, phone number, and the account/permit numbers that need to be combined or deleted. You may also contact us by email at .
 

Who can I contact if I have additional questions or comments?

Call us at (877) 893-5270, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST or email us at . For any customer whose primary language is not English, we offer a translator service for your convenience.

 

 

 

 

For more information about the False Alarm Reduction Program or to register your alarm, please visit https://www.crywolfservices.com/stcloudfl  or www.stcloud.org/police,  call toll free (877)893-5270, mail: P.O. Box 865224 Orlando, FL 32886-5224, email: .