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Friday October 31st
Alarms

Alarm systems in the City of Oregon City that elicit police response require a permit from the Oregon City Police Department per City Ordinance No. 01-1017. Links to the Alarm Ordinance and current Alarm Fee schedule are located at the bottom of this page.

To obtain an alarm permit, citizens must complete the Alarm User Permit Application (click on link at bottom of this page), print out application and return it to the Police Department along with a check for the first year’s permit. The annual fee is $15 for business or residential. A residential alarm user age 65 or over, with no home based business at the residence, may obtain an alarm permit without paying the permit fee. The Police Department address is printed at the top of the application.

The purpose of the alarm ordinance is to discourage false alarms and allow officers to spend more time providing public safety services. As of December 31, 2013 the City had 1,352 valid permits on file (an overall increase of 93 from 1,260 at the end of 2012). Police Department Officers were dispatched to 875 alarm calls of which:

  • 531 were considered false alarms (144 residential and 387 businesses)
  • 294 were canceled prior to officer arrival at the premise
  • 14 were legitimate alarms (2 homes, 12 businesses) – actual attempted break-ins
  • 36 were car alarms or other non chargeable alarms

Approximately 61% of all 2013 dispatched alarm calls were considered false (this is a decrease from 65% in 2012). The number of dispatched calls that were canceled prior to an officer arrival on scene were 33% of all 2013 dispatched alarm calls, which reflects an increase in cancelations at 33% versus 31% in 2012.  With a significant increase in permitted alarms in 2013, the total dispatched calls coded as false still reflects a overall percentage reduction in officer response time.

Many false alarms consist of events created by any/all of the following circumstances:

  • user error
  • loose pets
  • equipment malfunction
  • low battery signals
  • unsecured doors/windows
  • loose fitting doors/windows
  • delay time is not adequately set to allow you time to enter/leave your premise
  • individuals who have access to an alarm location that do not know how to use the alarm
  • environment: moving furniture, remodeling, air conditioners, balloons, banners, curtains, dust

Fines and penalties are assessed beginning with the second false alarm response and increase with each subsequent false alarm dispatched per location.

If you have any questions about business or residential alarms, please call Sharon Coughlin, Alarm Coordinator, at (503) 496-1684 or by e-mail at scoughlin@orcity.org . Hours are Monday thru Friday, from 07:00 am to 04:00 pm.

A nationwide organization "FARA" (False Alarm Reduction Association) was created to help with reducing false alarms for the consumer, alarm companies and law enforcement. FARA's website provides additional consumer tips and information for helping the alarm user from creating false alarm issues for their local police department. Please check out the website by clicking on the link located at the bottom of this page.