Editor’s note: Every week a Lake Oswego police officer answers your questions in this space. Please send your questions to reporter Cliff Newell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 503-636-1281, ext. 105.

“I understand there are some changes with the alarm code. What are they?”

Several changes have, in fact, been made to the city ordinance relating to alarm system use. Primarily, the changes relate to alarm system permits and the related fines for false alarms. A complete version of the ordinance is listed on the city of Lake Oswego website at In the city of Lake Oswego, alarm system permits are voluntary; however, whether or not a citizen or business has a permit affects the amount of the fine in the event of a false alarm.

The permit costs $25, but this fee is waived for a residential alarm user who is over the age of 65, provided that no business is conducted in the residence. If a person or business has a permit and then has a false alarm with a police response, they are not charged until their third false alarm in a calendar year. SGT. TOM HAMANN

With a permit, the fine for the third and each additional false alarm is $100.

Without a permit, the fines are as follows:

Second false alarm: $100

Third false alarm: $125

Fourth false alarm: $175

Fifth false alarm: $275

Sixth and any additional false alarms: $425 each

Having a permit helps the police department respond appropriately to alarm system activations by providing up-to-date information as well as key-holder information.

To obtain an alarm use permit application, please visit our website at or call 503-635-0250 and ask for the alarm coordinator.

— Sgt. Tom Hamann

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