False Alarm Ordinance


Following a months-long public-engagement process, the Surprise City Council approved a False Alarm Ordinance designed to reduce the number of false alarm calls phoned into Surprise Police. Only 1 in 1,000 intrusion alarm calls are the result of criminal activity, and according to Surprise Police, the Department receives about 4,000 such calls a year.

The ordinance requires alarm companies or owners to establish more certainty that criminal activity is probably present before calling for a police response.

The alarm company or the property owner can verify potential criminal activity through the following means:

  • Audio or video surveillance
  • An eyewitness
  • Two separate zones activated and no response by the owner to alarm company calls
  • A verification from the owner to the alarm company that the alarm is valid

If the police respond to a verified alarm and discover no evidence of criminal activity, officers log the call as false and a 365-day “clock” begins. If an alarm company or owner verifies an alarm and asks for police response a second time within 365 days, and police discover the alarm is again false, alarm owners are asked to take steps to fix whatever may be causing the false alarms.

After a third report of a verified alarm turns out to be false, the department will cease responding to such alarms until 365 days from the first verified, false alarm has passed.

This ordinance will NOT change the way police respond to panic, robbery, or hold-up alarms. Surprise Police remind residents to dial 911 if they feel threatened or for any emergency situation.

For questions please call 623-222-4282 or email questions to alarm.coordinator@surpriseaz.gov.