Chicago Police DepartmentSpecial Order S04-22-03
False Burglar Alarms
Issue Date:30 March 2009Effective Date:31 March 2009
Index Category:Preliminary Investigations
This directive:
  • A.revises Department policy and procedure regarding the issuance of citations for false burglar alarms .
  • B.discontinues the use of the City of Chicago, Department of Revenue, Burglar Alarm Violation Notice citation.
  • C.informs Department members that they will no longer issue citations for a false burglar alarm for residential locations.
  • D.informs members that an Administrative Notice of Violation (ANOV), (CPD-11.497A) citation will be issued to cite false burglar alarms.
The Chicago Police Department is committed to reducing the number of false burglar alarms, thereby making more police officers available for proactive policing strategies within the beats and neighborhoods. Police responses to false burglar alarms divert resources better directed to the protection of life and property and to the enhancement of relationships between the police and the residents and businesses of the community.
III.General Information
  • A.Department members will no longer issue the City of Chicago, Department of Revenue, Burglar Alarm Violation Notice citation for any false burglar alarms .
  • B.Department members will issue an Administrative Notice of Ordinance Violation (ANOV) citation for any business / premise that uses a burglar alarm system that emits a false alarm.
  • C.Citations will no longer be issued for any premise used primarily for residential purposes.
IV.Issuing a Burglar Alarm Violation Notice
  • A.Whenever a Department member responds to a burglar alarm at any business / premise, not including a residence, and determines that the alarm is false, the officer will issue an ANOV.
    • 1.When issuing an ANOV for a false burglar alarm violation, the Department member will:
      • a.record the name of the business in the “respondent” section.
      • b.record the business address in the “respondent address” section.
      • c.go to the STEP 1 section and:
        • (1)check the FALSE BURGLAR ALARM box for the count, or
        • (2)check the OTHER box and write:
          • (a)in the violation 8-4-056(b), and
          • (b)the violation False Burglar Alarm in the OFFENSE box.
      • d.go to the STEP 2 section and under COUNT 1,
        • (1)describe the type of business (e.g. dry cleaners, bakery, tavern, warehouse), and
        • (2)write a brief narrative explaining why the burglar alarm was false.
          If a Department member issues an ANOV only for a false burglar alarm, no identification, name check, burglar alarm permit number, or signature is required.
    • 2.The Department member will effect service of the citation on the burglar alarm user by:
      • a.personally handing the “Respondent’s Copy” of the citation to the burglar alarm user , an agent or employee of the burglar alarm user , or any other person with apparent authority at the business / premise, and recording that person’s name in the “Person Served” section of the citation, or
        If a Department member is unable to personally hand the citation to an appropriate person, or if the agent, employee or person with apparent authority refuses to accept the citation, the citation will be affixed in the manner described in section IV-A-2-b.
      • b.affixing the “Respondent’s Copy” of the citation to a door or other prominent location of the business / premise and recording the location in the comments box at the bottom of the citation.
  • B.A separate citation will be issued for each false alarm response regardless of the time between responses.
  • C.Following the issuance of an ANOV, the Department member will return to service with the appropriate code from the Miscellaneous Incident Reporting Table (CPD-11.484): 14 - Nora.
  • D.Department members will submit the Prosecuting Department Copy of the ANOV to their unit of assignment or detail prior to the conclusion of that tour of duty.
  • E.A Department member issuing a citation will normally not be required to appear at an administrative hearing requested by a violator. If the member’s presence is necessary, the hearing officer will notify the officer’s unit of assignment in writing. A Department member notified to appear at an administrative hearing will follow court attendance procedures enumerated in the Department directive entitled “Court Attendance and Responsibilities."
Jody P Weis
Superintendent of Police
08-174 SM
1. -
A burglar alarm system activated in the absence of an emergency whether wilfully or by inadvertence, negligence or unintentional act, including any mechanical or electrical malfunction of the alarm system, to which the department of police is alerted for a response. A false alarm shall not include an alarm activated by:
  • A.a temporary surge or loss of electrical power or loss of telephone service to the burglar alarm user;
  • B.the testing or repairing of telephone or electrical lines or equipment outside the premises if prior notice of the testing or repair is given to the department of police;
  • C.unusually violent conditions of nature;
  • illegal entry, theft or robbery, or an attempt thereof; or an observable act of vandalism; where evidence of such activity exists.
2. -
Any assembly of equipment, mechanical or electrical, designed to signal the occurrence of an illegal entry or attempted illegal entry of the premises protected by the system. However, “burglar alarm system” shall not include any system installed to protect any premises used primarily for residential, educational, religious or charitable purposes or used primarily by a unit of government or school district. A “hold up” alarm is not included under this definition.
3. -
The person or entity that owns, leases or subscribes to a burglar system, but does not include a private alarm company. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that a person who owns or occupies any premises on which a burglar alarm system has been installed is the user of that system.