City Of Rockford Alarm Department

Frequently Asked Questions


Answers

Please select a Question to see the Answer.

Q.
Why am I fined for false alarms?

A.

Fines allow the City to recover a portion of the costs associated with responding to false alarms. Responding to false alarms negatively impacts our ability to deal with real crime problems and provide proactive crime prevention. False alarms are preventable. Those who have alarm systems have made a choice to accept the responsibility to prevent false alarms.

Q.
When is an alarm considered a "false alarm"?

A.

False alarm means an alarm system that emits a light or sound or transmits a signal or message resulting in a response by public safety officers when the situation does not require a public safety response. False alarms caused as a result of power failures, power surges, or acts of nature not the fault of the alarm user or system subscriber or the alarm business shall not be considered to be a false alarm. Excessive false alarms are defined as more than 2 false alarms within a 365 day period at a permitted site, and any false alarm at a non-permitted site. 

Q.
Shouldn't the police to respond to every alarm call?

A.

Your agreement with your alarm company is a private contract. The police are not obligated to respond to alarms, but we do so whenever possible.

Q.
Do other cities do this?

A.

Many other cities charge for responding to false alarms. Responding to false alarms is a police service that primarily benefits the alarm company. Alarm Associations nationwide advocate charging for false alarms to encourage false alarm reduction and to recover costs incurred by the police when responding to alarms.

Q.
Who can I talk to about my bill?

A.

Call (888) 865-9770. If you get our voicemail system, be sure to reference your permit number, address and a contact number. You can also send an inquiry via the Contact Us page or direct to rockfordil@citysupport.org.

Q.
How do I appeal if I think the bill is wrong or unfair?

A.

*Submit a written request/statement as to why you feel the charge and/or occurrence should be waived or removed from your account, along with any supporting documentation (police reports, alarm company documentation, etc)

*Submit via email using the Contact Us page.

*Be sure to include Permit License #, alarm location address, and incident date(s) in question. 

*Submit within fifteen (15) calendar days of the notice imposing the charge.

 

Q.
What happens if I don’t pay?

A.

Like any unpaid bill from the city, it will go to collections.

Q.
What are the false alarm fees if I don't have an active alarm permit?

A.

Unpermitted false alarm fee = $300.00 The first two false alarms will be waived if permit fees are paid within 30 days.

Q.
How can I prevent false alarms?

A.

An alarm owner can follow a few tips to prevent excessive false alarms and unnecessary emergency service dispatch.  First, train all alarm users on how to properly engage and disengage the system.  A number of false alarms are caused by users who are improperly trained.  The alarm company should provide adequate training on how the system functions, make sure that all potential users understand the process.  If you do have a false alarm, you have two to three minutes to disarm your system before emergency responders are notified.  Also, maintain the system properly so as to avoid any system malfunctions.  Not only will that prevent false alarms, but will also assure that your alarm system works in the event of a real emergency.

Q.
Where can I read the ordinance?

A.

You can read the entire alarm ordinance and revisions here. In addition, your alarm company is required to supply you with a copy of the new, revised ordinance.

Q.
Do I have to register my alarm, and what does it cost?

A.

An alarm permit is required of all monitored alarm systems within the City.

Fee Description

$27.00 One Time Permit Fee

No Annual Renewal

Registering your system and purchasing the permit does not relieve you of your responsibility to properly maintain and use your alarm system. 

Q.
How do I cancel my alarm permit?

A.

If there is no longer active alarm service in your name at this location please notify us in writing by sending an email to rockfordil@citysupport.org or via the Contact Us page with the date of cancellation and the alarm company of record.