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(a) The city council finds and declares that:
(1) There are a substantial number of alarms of possible criminal activity that come into the Palo Alto police department and preventable false fire alarms that come into the Palo Alto fire department. These alarms average in excess of four hundred per month for the police department and one hundred per month for the fire department. It is the policy and practice of the Palo Alto police and fire departments to respond to all alarms except those which are known to be false and to report on all alarms genuine or false. Most alarms are false. Most false alarms are the result of improper maintenance or improper or careless use of an alarm system.
(2) False alarms needlessly divert limited police and fire resources from genuine alarms and other emergencies. Police officers and fire crews responding to false alarms are not available to carry out other public safety duties. In the interest of using limited resources most effectively, the number of false alarms can and must be reduced.
(3) The purpose of this chapter is to reduce the dangers and diversions of false alarms and to encourage alarm users to maintain their systems in good working order and to use them properly thereby conserving police and fire personnel time and increasing protection for all Palo Alto citizens.
(4) Where the alarm system in question is a fire alarm, the enforcement official for the city shall be the fire chief or his or her designee. For all other alarm systems, the enforcement official shall be the chief of police or his or her designee.
(Ord. 5441 § 1 (part), 2018: Ord. 4726 § 2 (part), 2002)