Inter-Departmental Correspondence

Employee and Public Services



May 18, 2004


June 8, 2004



Honorable Board of Supervisors


Mary Welch, Employee and Public Services Director
Jaime Young, Public Safety Communications Manager



Authorization for Residential and Commercial Alarm Monitoring



Adopt a resolution authorizing the Public Communications Division of Employee and Public Services to provide residential and commercial alarm monitoring services.



From time to time Public Safety Communications has been approached by businesses and residents to connect their alarm system directly to our Dispatch Center. Normally, homes or businesses are monitored by private alarm companies, such as Bay Alarm, Brinks and others.


The cities of Atherton, San Carlos, Millbrae, and Hillsborough provide alarm monitoring services to residences and businesses in their cities. At this time, Public Safety Communications only provides alarm monitoring services to approximately 10 locations in County facilities, including the Sheriff's Office, Information Services, Courts and Revenue Services for a monthly fee of $30 in addition to a one-time set-up fee.



We are requesting that you authorize Public Safety Communications to provide alarm monitoring services to residents and businesses. There is an increased interest for this service from communities served by Public Safety Communications.

Based on the estimated time to provide this service, we are recommending an initial set-up fee of $500 for each residence or business. This fee would cover the initial programming, data entry and the development of operational procedures. The on-going monthly fee would be $60 per month based on the cost of the telephone line and staff time. Additionally, programming or technical changes after installation would be billed at $65 per hour with a one-hour minimum.


If approved by the Board, Public Safety Communications would need to:

    1. Develop an agreement or contract between the County and the business or resident.

    2. Order an additional telephone line.

    3. Develop general operational procedures and train Public Safety Communications staff.

    4. Develop administrative procedures, including a billing system.

These tasks will be completed in approximately 30 days after authorization.

Vision Alignment

This item keeps the commitment of ensuring basic health and safety for all through goal number 7: Maintain and enhance the public safety of all residents and visitors.


Fiscal Impact

It is anticipated that a very small number of residents and businesses will request this service, thus no additional staff is required. The initial set-up and monthly fee charges will cover time spent by existing staff to provide this service.


cc: Don Horsley, Sheriff