Below are questions that are frequently asked regarding False Alarms. Click on any question to jump to the answer.
Q. By paying my registration what does it cover?
A. While registration is not required we would recommend that you do register. Accurate up-to-date information about alarm subscribers and the monitoring companies serving them, helps the Hamilton Police Service know who to contact in case of an emergency. The overall benefit is that the fees for police response to false alarms are less if the premises is registered. Police response to your alarm is NOT affected by registration. We will still respond to the alarm if the premises is not registered, however should the alarm be false, the fees imposed are greater than those of a registered account.
Q. If I have had a false alarm as an unregistered premises and I register, will you backdate the registration?
A. No. At the time the false alarm occurred the premises was not registered and thusly the premises has been invoiced the appropriate fees. You may register at any time and any false alarm following registration are subject to the registered rate. Your alarm company should notify this service within seven days of the installation of your alarm system so that we may send you information on the registration program. If this has been done then you should have sufficient time to register before your alarm company removes your system from the test mode.
Q. If I receive an invoice for a false alarm but there was a break and enter, what do I do?
A. If you return home or to your business and discover that in fact the premises was broken into, then you must immediately contact this Police Service. Dispatch will create a call for service and either have an officer attend or have an officer contact you by phone (you will be advised at the time of your call.) Once the Break and Enter report has been taken, you must submit a letter of appeal, along with your invoice and that letter must include the incident number given by the officer for the Break and Enter report. The appeal is sent to the False Alarm Unit and you will receive a written response shortly thereafter in the mail.
Q. I thought my alarm company paid the Police Service, why did I get an invoice from you?
A. In years previous the Hamilton Police Service dealt solely with alarm companies and monitoring stations. In order to benefit the members of our communities it was determined that to deal with the premises owner/occupiers directly was more efficient and practical. The Hamilton Police Service invoices the premises directly for all registration renewals and all false alarm fees. No fees related to police services are collected through the alarm companies.
Q. How do I know the police actually responded to my alarm if I wasn’t there?
A. The Hamilton Police Service receives a request for dispatch from your monitoring station. Our dispatch computers record the time the call was received, dispatched to the officers, the time they arrived and the time that they cleared from the premises. Your monitoring station can verify a dispatch to police.
Q. Where is the False Alarm Unit located?
A. The False Alarm Reduction Unit is located at the Central Headquarters at 155 King William St., Hamilton. Our office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. We are closed on weekends and Statutory Holidays. You can contact us by phone 905-546-4718, by fax 905-546-5480 or by email email@example.com
Q. Where does the money go?
The police budget is set each year by the Chief who presents it to the Police Services Board. Upon their approval it is presented and approved by City Council.
The Chief also projects how much money the Alarm Program will recover as a result of services provided. The amount of transfer payments from the City is the approved budget amount minus an estimated recovery from the False Alarm program.
Q. Who would the Police Service recommend for an alarm company?
A. We will not recommend a specific Alarm Company over another. We will advise however to obtain three quotes from three different types of services, such as a small, medium and larger size company. This can usually be determined by the size of their yellow page ad. Once you have met with each of the three at least you will have a better understanding of what each has to offer and something to compare one to another.
Q. How can I pay my invoices?
A. Each invoice is mailed with a business reply envelope. You may pay through the mail by cheque or money order. Cheques are made payable to Hamilton Police Service. If you wish to pay by Cash, Debit, Visa or MasterCard, this must be done at our Central Headquarters at 155 King William St., Hamilton (between Mary and Ferguson). Payments can be made with the cashier at the Records counter. To ensure accurate credit to your account is made, please provide the bottom portion of your invoice or a copy with your payment.