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The City of Portland, Oregon

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City of Portland

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14B.10.020 Definitions.

A.  “Alarm business" means any individual, partnership, corporation, or other entity whose business objective, in whole or in part, as direct provider of parts and services or agent for the direct provider of parts and services, is the selling, leasing, maintaining, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving or installing of any alarm system (as defined below).

B.  “Alarm site" means the location at which a subscriber's alarm system is installed.

C.  “Alarm system” means a device or series of devices, including, but not limited to, systems interconnected with a radio frequency method such as cellular or private radio signals, which emit or transmit a remote or local audible, visual, or electronic signal indicating an alarm condition and intended to summon law enforcement, including Local Alarm System.  For purposes of this Chapter, “alarm system” shall be limited to alarms whose primary purposes is the detection or prevention of burglaries, robberies, or other acts generally requiring a police (as opposed to fire or medical) response.

D.  “Alarm system monitoring company," means any individual, partnership, corporation, or other form of association that engages in the business of monitoring property, burglary, or robbery alarm systems. For purposes of this Chapter, alarm system monitoring companies include those dealers and installers who contract with a property owner, subscriber, or customer, to perform alarm system monitoring services and then subcontract with another alarm system monitoring company to provide the actual monitoring service.

E.  “Alarm system user" means a person having (whether through ownership or lease) or maintaining an alarm system or alarm device where such system is connected to or in communication with an alarm system monitoring company.

F.  “Alarm user’s permit” means a document applied for by an alarm system user and issued by the System Administrator (as defined below) of their designee pursuant to the criteria established by this Chapter.

G.  “Audio / Video verification” means the alarm incident has been verified by the alarm system monitoring company by means of audio and/or video, prior to the request to dispatch police.

H.  "Automatic dialing device" means a device that is interconnected between an alarm system (as defined above) and a telephone line and is programmed to select a predetermined telephone number and transmit by voice message or code signal an emergency message indicating a need for emergency response.

I.  “Bureau of Emergency Communications" (BOEC) is the City/County Public Safety Answering Point entity that receives emergency and general information from the public, and then dispatches appropriate emergency services from respective police, fire, or medical agencies.

J.  “Burglary alarm system" means an alarm system signaling an entry or attempted entry into the area protected by the system.

K.  “Cancellation of alarm dispatch” means the process by which an alarm system monitoring company providing monitoring services verifies with the alarm user or responsible party that a false dispatch has occurred and that there is not an existing situation at the alarm site requiring law enforcement agency response.

L.  “Chief" means the Chief of the City of Portland's Bureau of Police or their designated representative.

M.  “Commercial properties” means any building or location used to operate a business that is not the alarm user’s primary dwelling. 

N.  “Days,” for purposes of calculating any time frames herein, shall mean calendar days (and not business days).

O.  “Do It Yourself” (DIY) means the alarm system and components are purchased through a retail center or online provider by the alarm user and are typically installed by the alarm user.

P.  “Duress alarm” means a silent alarm system signal generated by the manual activation of a device intended to signal a life-threatening situation or a crime in progress requiring law enforcement response.

Q.  “Enhanced call verification” means a type of alarm verification in which an alarm monitoring company places two or more phone calls to different contact numbers in an attempt to verify that a real alarm has occurred and not a false alarm.

R.  "False alarm" means a notification to the PPB from any source that any of the following scenarios have occurred:

1.  If, once police arrive at the alarm site, the investigating police officer or first officer on-scene finds that there is no evidence of a crime or other activity that warrants the assistance of the Portland Police Bureau on the premises, as indicated by the investigation of a police officer on the scene or, if upon police arrival, by the property owner, or the property owner’s tenant(s) or employee(s), refuse cooperation with police or deny the need for police assistance;

2.  The person who contacted BOEC and requested a police response, and/or who set off an alarm system to alert emergency services and/or who confirmed a video communication is no longer on or near the premises of the alleged emergency and/or at the time of police arrival now denies the need for police response; or

3.   BOEC has already dispatched police to a call from an alarm system monitoring company, and the alarm system monitoring company later informs BOEC or police that the alarm was cancelled. A false alarm occurs regardless of whether it is before or after the arrival of police at the alarm site, so long as the dispatch has already occurred. A false alarm does not result if the alarm system monitoring company cancels a dispatch request before BOEC dispatches officers to an alarm site.

S.  "Monitoring" means the process by which an alarm system monitoring company receives signals from an alarm system or alarm device.

T.  “Multiple Device Triggers” means at least two sensors, devices or combination of both have been activated, prior to the request to dispatch police.

U.   "Police Response" occurs when BOEC treats an alarm signal as a valid alarm and dispatches police resources.

V.   "Primary trunk line" means a telephone line serving BOEC that is designated to receive emergency calls.

W.   “Residential properties” means a dwelling where individuals are living.  Residential property includes both private and rented accommodations. 

X.   “Robbery alarm system" means an alarm system signaling a robbery or attempted robbery. May be referred to as a “duress alarm” system generated by the manual activation of a device intended to signal a life threatening situation or a crime in progress requiring law enforcement response.

Y.   "Sheriff" means Sheriff of Multnomah County or their designated representative.

Z.   “Senior permit” means any alarm user who is over the age of 62 and provides documentation of proof of age whose primary address is the location of the alarm site.

AA.   "System Administrator or Administrator" means the individual designated by the Chief of Police to manage the Alarms Administration Unit. The unit is responsible for permit issuance, assessments of charges, education of alarm system users, and the conducting of appeals hearings.

BB.   "Sound emission cutoff feature" means a feature of an alarm system which will cause an audible alarm to stop emitting sound.

CC.  “Special permit” means any alarm site required by federal, state, county or municipal statute, regulation, rule or ordinance to install, maintain and operate an alarm system.

DD.   "System becomes operative" means when the alarm system is capable of eliciting a response by police.

EE.  “Unpreventable conditions” means those acts of nature which cause activation of an Alarm System without fault of the Alarm System, or Alarm User, criminal activity, or any other emergency.  Such acts include, but are not limited to, earthquakes, floods, and high-speed winds, and acts of wild animals.  Acts of domesticated animals, regardless of that animal’s ownership, are not considered unpreventable conditions.