Understanding the Douglas County Alarm Ordinance – Fee Applies, but Not to All
by Terri Wiebold
The Douglas County Alarm Ordinance that became effective in March of 2008 has caused some confusion for Castle Pines North (CPN) residents who have begun receiving bills from alarm companies for the $40 registration fee.
According to the ordinance, the fee only applies to “unincorporated areas of Douglas County,” and since CPN is now a city, it would appear not to apply.
Upon further clarification from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO), residents of CPN who have a monitored alarm system ARE required to pay this ordinance fee. Only incorporated cities that have a separate police force to respond to these alarms (Parker, Lone Tree, etc.) are exempt from the ordinance. Even though Castle Pines North is an incorporated city, it still contracts with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office for police services, and thus must pay for these alarm services.
Greenbriar resident Lisa Linn said she has no problem paying the $40, she was just confused with the wording of the ordinance and wanted to make sure it really applied to her. “Those guys [DCSO] go above and beyond, and I am sure they respond to hundreds of false alarms,” said Linn.
According to DCSO Deputy Ron Hanavan, over a three-year period, the DCSO responded to 17,504 alarms, only 56 of which were legitimate calls for service. “The goal of the ordinance is to reduce the number of false alarms so that we can focus on our primary responsibility of law enforcement,” said Hanavan.
“The fee is to offset the third party billing company we have contracted to handle the registration for us,” he continued.
Hanavan also reminds residents that there is an exemption for qualifying senior citizens in residential properties in the form of a reduction of the registration fee.
To learn more about this exemption, go to http://www.cpnhoa.org/pages/news/articles/2008/qtr3/alarm.htm.
Residents with questions are encouraged to contact Hanavan at 303-660-7544.