Excessive false alarms unduly burden the Providence Police Department’s limited law enforcement resources. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to establish reasonable expectations of alarm users and to ensure that alarm users are held responsible for their use of alarm systems.
Non-Compliance Registration Fines
Create an account on the Providence Prevention and Administration Site. Your account number on your violation document. Your invoice number serves as your password. Take and pass the class, your alarm fees are waived.
Chapter 16, Article IV. Sec. 16-122 – Definitions
Unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the words and phrases used in this chapter shall have the following meanings:
Alarm administrator means a person or persons designated by the city to administer, control and review false alarm reduction efforts and administer the provisions of this article.
Alarm company means a person subject to the licensing requirements, and/or a company engaged in selling, leasing, installing, servicing or monitoring alarm systems.
Alarm signal means a detectable signal; audible or visual, generated by an alarm system, to which law enforcement is requested to respond.
Alarm system means any single device or assembly of equipment designed to signal the occurrence of an illegal or unauthorized entry or other illegal activity requiring immediate attention and to which law enforcement is requested to respond, but does not include motor vehicle or boat alarms, fire alarms, domestic violence alarms, or alarms designed to elicit a medical response.
Alarm user means any person, corporation, partnership, proprietorship, governmental or educational entity or any other entity owning, leasing or operating an alarm system, or on whose premises an alarm system is maintained for the protection of such premises.
Chapter 16, Article IV. Sec. 16-124 – Duties of the alarm user
(a) Maintain the premises and the alarm system in a method that will reduce or eliminate false alarms; and
(b)Provide the alarm company the permit number, (the number must be provided to the communications center by the alarm company to facilitate dispatch).
(c) Must respond or cause a representative to respond to the alarm system’s location within a reasonable amount of time when notified by the Providence Police Department.
(d) Not manually activate an alarm for any reason other than an occurrence of an event that the alarm system was intended to report.
(e) An alarm user must obtain a new permit and pay any associated fees if there is a change in address or ownership of a business or residence.
Chapter 16, Article IV. Sec. 16-125 – Duties of alarm company
(a) Any person engaged in the alarm business in the city, shall comply with the following:
(1) Obtain and maintain the required state and/or city license(s).
(2) Provide name, address, and telephone number of the user or a designee, who can be called in an emergency, twenty-four (24) hours a day; and contact a key holder or other emergency contact who will respond immediately.
(3) Provide the most current contact information for the alarm user.
Chapter 16, Article IV. Sec. 16-126 – Prohibited acts
(a) It shall be unlawful to activate an alarm system for the purpose of summoning law enforcement when no burglary, robbery, or other crime dangerous to life or property is being committed or attempted on the premises, or otherwise to cause a false alarm.
(b) It shall be unlawful to install, maintain, or use an audible alarm system which can sound continually for more than fifteen (15) minutes.
(c) It shall be unlawful to install, maintain, or use an automatic dial protection device that reports, or causes to be reported, any recorded message to the Providence Police Department.
Chapter 16, Article IV. Sec. 16-127 – Enforcement
(a) Excessive false alarms/failure to register.
It is hereby found and determined that three (3) or more false alarms within a permit year is excessive, constitutes a public nuisance, and shall be unlawful. Civil penalties for false alarms within a permit year may be assessed against an alarm user as follows:
- Third false alarm – $100.00
- Fourth false alarm – $200.00
- Fifth false alarm – $400.00
- Fifth false alarm – $400.00
- Sixth and over false alarms – $500.00
- Failure to register – $100.00
(b) Other civil penalty(ies).
Violations will be enforced through the assessment of civil penalty(ies) in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100.00) per violation.
(c) Payment of civil penalty(ies).
Civil penalty(ies) shall be paid within (30) days from the date of the invoice.
(d) Discontinuance of law enforcement response.
The failure of an alarm user to make payment of any civil penalty(ies) assessed under this article within thirty (30) days from the date of the invoice shall result in discontinuance of law enforcement response to alarm signals that may occur at the premises described in the alarm user’s permit until payment is received.
(e) Civil non-criminal violation.
A violation of any of the provisions of this ordinance shall be a civil violation and shall not constitute a misdemeanor or infraction.
Chapter 16, Article IV. Sec. 16-128 – Appeals
(a) Appeals process
Assessments of civil penalty(ies) and other enforcement decisions made under this ordinance may be appealed by filing a written notice of appeal with the Providence Police Department within ten (10) days after the date of notification of the assessment of civil penalty(ies) or other enforcement decision. The failure to give notice of appeal within this time period shall constitute a waiver of the right to contest the assessment of penalty(ies) or other enforcement decision. Appeals shall be heard through an administrative process established by the city. The hearing officer’s decision is subject to review in the district court by proceedings in the nature of certiorari.
(b) Appeal standard
The hearing officer shall review an appeal from the assessment of civil penalty(ies) or other enforcement decisions using a preponderance of the evidence standard. Notwithstanding a determination that the preponderance of the evidence supports the assessment of civil penalty(ies) or other enforcement decision, the hearing officer shall have the discretion to dismiss or reduce civil penalty(ies) or reverse any other enforcement decision where warranted.
Chapter 16, Article IV. Sec. 16-129 – Confidentiality
In the interest of public safety, all information contained in and gathered through the alarm registration applications, no response records, applications for appeals and any other alarm records shall be held in confidence by all employees and/or representatives of the city.
Anne Marie Keohane