The Lee County Sheriff's Office is requested to respond to over 35,000 false alarms each year. When an alarm call is received, two law enforcement units are dispatched. Therefore, responding to false alarms can consume thousands of personnel hours at a high cost to taxpayers. Most importantly, false alarms place in jeopardy the safety of citizens truly in need of law enforcement response. Unfounded alarm calls reduce the effectiveness of the LCSO and undermine our ability to respond to more critical calls. Lee County and three local municipalities adopted alarm legislation due to concerns over law enforcement safety and to eliminate the misuse of resources.
Those who use alarms should become familiar with the causes and prevention of false alarms and learn about the new ordinances to successfully partner with the Lee County Sheriff's Office in this reduction program.
Alarm operators (users) and alarm service providers are subject to the specific alarm ordinances of their respective area: the City of Bonita Springs, the Town of Fort Myers Beach or unincorporated areas of Lee County.
The Lee County
Sheriff's Office is responsible to administer and enforce the ordinances and
has established the False Alarm Reduction Unit or F.A.R.U. to:
Every alarm contractor and/or service provider must:
Register annually with the F.A.R.U.
Register and obtain a permit from the F.A.R.U. at the cost of $25.00 for each alarm system it puts into service, prior to putting the alarm system into service.
Provide the alarm user with certain information and certify that this has been provided and that the alarm system meets or exceeds certain standards.
Attempt to verify most alarms before requesting emergency dispatch.
Each Alarm Operator (User):
Must ensure your alarms are registered.
Should have a current list of at least two emergency contacts on file with F.A.R.U.
Must inform F.A.R.U. within 15 days of any changes in information contained in your alarm application: address, phone numbers, etc.
Will be fined for false alarms according to an established schedule.
Must pay the imposed false alarm fees to the Lee County Sheriff's Office.
Every legally permitted alarm is allowed one "free" false alarm within any consecutive 12-month period (not calendar year). For permitted alarms, fines are imposed beginning with the second false alarm within the 12-month period.
|Number of False Alarms
from same site within
any 12-month period
|With Revoked Permit
Or Without Permit
|1||$25.00 fine is waived||See Ordinance|
|9 false alarms or more||$400.00 each|
Ten (10) or more false alarms received by law enforcement for the same site within a permit year may cause the alarm permit to be revoked.
**The $200.00 additional fine for a non-permitted alarm system may be reduced to $50.00 by the Sheriff, if the alarm system is permitted within ten days of the false alarm.
*See actual ordinances for complete provisions and fines.