This is not an official blog of the City. It is the work of Mark Kapel who is solely responsible for content.

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Announcing the new and improved Public Safety website. Part 1. Alarm Monitoring, House Watch, and Key Program.

In  days of old, the City of Bloomfield Hills Public  Safety Department had it's own web site  which ran  as separate entity with a link on the front page of the City's  site. As you might imagine clicking on  that link produced something far snazzier than what the City was offering . If  recalled  correctly, the Public Safety site featured a picture of City Hall and the Public Safety Department  building at night. Jagged bolts of lighting electrified the sky. 
Whoever took the picture knew a thing or  two about photography and  probably used a tripod. The black of night and the flash of  thunderbolts  were in keeping with the City's black and gold color scheme. The Public Safety department  may still have a copy.of that photograph somewhere.

Then in the summer of 2011  when the then Mayor Zambricki  administration and Public Safety Department were going toe to toe over cost containment,  the Public Safety web site disappeared or more accurately got assimilated by the City's.  Why exactly has never been explained . Jealousy or the unfortunate outcome of a fit of pique, have been suggested  as possible motives.

Now the Public Safety web site is back,  in a manner of speaking since it never went away but was just watered down and buried,

Today it is still buried on the City website under Home>Resident>City Department>Public Safety menu options. 

Those of us who are in the publish or perish business know that by sheer volume the Chief  (the presumed editor of the Public Safety  web site) is publishing up a storm.  We are happy to provide a small sample of  the public safety department  services posted and available to residents. For future reference we are working on a direct link the Public Safety   website which will appear  in the upper right hand corner of  this page  below the City Hall website.

Alarm Monitoring

We monitor alarms at no charge to our residents. You may wish to have your signals sent to us OR us and your alarm company. The choice is yours. Below you will find the Alarm Monitoring Form. 
Click below for form.
that needs to be completed for those residents who would like the Bloomfield Hills Public Safety Department to monitor their digital alarm signals. It is very important that all the information requested on the form be filled out. When you have completed the form contact the Public Safety Department (248)644-4200 and arrange a time to return the form and obtain an account number. After you've been assigned an account number you will be given the instructions for your alarm vendor to connect you to our receiver.
Please remember that the City of Bloomfield Hills has an ordinance that governs alarm systems. After three false alarms the Chief will send a courtesy letter advising you of a possible problem. After five false alarms the Chief will send an ordinance mandated letter informing you that you are one alarm away from being invoiced. After six false alarms you will be invoiced for $100 per false alarm.

Should you have any questions regarding this program, please feel free to call the Department at (248)644-4200 and speak with a Communications Specialist or the Chief.

House Watch Program

The House Watch program is a free service provided to the residents of the City of Bloomfield Hills by the Public Safety Department.To take advantage of this free service call (248)644-4200 whenever you are leaving your home unoccupied for two or more days (some houses we watch three – four months). Let the Communications Specialist or Officer who answers the phone know you would like to be placed on House Watch. They will ask you several questions and then your house will be placed on the watch list. Throughout the time you will be gone an officer will periodically check the outside of your home and if anything unusual is found or occurs to your home, you or your contact person will be notified.
Any questions, please call (248) 644-4200 and someone will be glad to assist you.

House Key Program

The House Key program is a free service provided to the residents of the City of Bloomfield Hills by the Public Safety Department. The purpose is to provide a safe and secure location for an additional key to your house to be stored. Should you become locked out of your house, you can call our station and an officer will respond with the key and assist you in opening your home. Your key will only be used by this department in cases of an emergency such as medical problems or fire emergencies.

To register for this program you will need to fill out the house key form below or pick up a copy at our front desk. Once this is completed, bring it along with a key to the front desk and drop it off. The form will need to be notarized and either the Chief or certain on-duty dispatchers can assist you with that.

Any questions, please call (248) 644-4200 and someone will be glad to assist you.

Of note: the simplest service  (House Key)  has the most complex form as indicated by words like "release" and "indemnification".

The very useful house watch program requires only a phone call and the alarm monitor is a service some companies charge $30 a month for.  In the not too distant future our City may have to charge a nominal sum for such monitoring . A charge has already been added for excessive false alarms.

The the three services are made possible by having our own City of Bloomfield  Public Safety Dispatch Department. Recent negotiations insisted upon and conducted by City Commission  to explore out source dispatch revealed the following.

 Birmingham  did not want to babysit 1500 or more  keys for City of Bloomfield Hills residents. The Township and our City had problems making the alarm monitoring system viable on a joint operating basis.

Remember the value of these services the next time someone offers the elimination of  our Dispatch department as money saver.

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