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Police Bureau

Sworn to protect. Dedicated to serve.

Phone: 503-823-0000

Fax: 503-823-0342

Non-Emergency: 503-823-3333

1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

Alarms

  • Video: Preventing False Alarms

PORTLAND POLICE BUREAU ALARMS UNIT 

Phone: 503-823-0031
Fax: 503-823-0507
alarms@portlandoregon.gov

PO BOX, 1867
PORTLAND, OR 97207-1867

 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q. Do I need a permit if I live in the City of Portland?
A. Yes, but please check www.portlandmaps.com to see if you are in the Portland Police Bureau’s jurisdiction. Once you type your address into the search, under “Jurisdiction”, it should say Portland/Multnomah. If it doesn’t, you will need to contact the law enforcement agency for the jurisdiction listed, ie. “Gresham / Multnomah” is Multnomah County Sheriff, “Unincorporated / Washington” is Washington County Sheriff.
*Please see the list of nearby county jurisdictions below.

Q. How do I get a permit?
A. Fill out either a residential or commercial application and submit payment using check or credit card. At this time we do not have online pay but plan to have this option in the future.  Keep in mind that you can arrange automatic payments through your bank.
PLEASE DO NOT SEND CASH! 

Q. How often do I have to renew my permit?
A.
The day that we process your application will be your “Permit Year” renewal date. Every year, approximately 4-6 weeks before that expiration date we will send you a renewal notice. 

Q. Can I just use the application that came in the box with my security system I bought at the store, online, or from my alarm installer?
A.
It is always best to go to the Portland Police Bureau website to download the most current application. (Always check that first to ensure you are within Portland’s jurisdiction). If we do not receive the most current application, we will send it back to you and provide you with a current application to complete. Also, if it is not filled out completely, signed and dated, we will send it back to you noting the items that need to be completed. It is important that you complete the most current application as you may incur late fees for the delays in this process. You have 30 days from the time your system is installed in which to obtain a permit. Any alarm user who fails to register their alarm system within the 30-day time frame may be assessed a $100 fine.

Q. How much does a permit cost?
A. Commercial Permits: $125/year; Residential Permits: $25/year; Senior Permits: free for people aged 62 or older and who live at the same address 12 months/year.  To show proof of age and residency, seniors need to provide us with a copy of their Oregon State ID or Driver’s License which must have the same address they have on their alarm permit.

Q. What is the best way to request a late fee be waived?
A.
You may request to have a late fee waived one (1) time only during the entire lifetime of your permit. In order to avoid being late on your payments, it is best to write on a calendar the date your permit expires and send us a payment at least 2-3 weeks before that date. The quickest way to find out if you have already had a late fee waived is by sending us an email. (See contact info below)

Q. How long after my alarm system is installed do I have until I am required to have a permit?
A.
It is best to get your application submitted as soon as possible so that your information is input into the 911 database. Chapter 14B.10 of the City Ordinance on Burglary & Alarm Systems states that you have 30 days in which to obtain a permit for your alarm system. However, some alarm companies will not allow you to begin using your system until you provide them with the permit number from the Portland Police Bureau. Once you receive your permit in the mail, be sure to inform your alarm company of your permit number.

Q. What if I move or if I close my business?
A. None of the permits are transferrable. If you move or sell your business, call our office at 503-823-0031 to have your permit cancelled so you are not responsible for that location any longer. Also, be sure to let your alarm company know you plan to move.
Your alarm company does not alert the Police Bureau when you cancel your account with them. You must contact the Police Bureau and alarm company separately. Additionally, senior permits are not transferrable. If the senior moves, they must apply for a new permit in their new home. Also, new occupants of a residence must apply for a new permit if there is an existing alarm system in the home and plugged into electricity.

Q. Do you pro-rate payments on permits?
A.
Only if you have paid for your permit within the last 30 days. You will still need to cancel your old permit and submit a new application for a new permit.

Q. If I discontinue my service with my alarm company, do they notify the Police that I have cancelled my service?
A.
No. The alarm companies are completely separate from the Portland Police Bureau. You must notify us both individually. Also, if you have no alarm monitoring company, but still have your alarm system plugged into electricity in your home, you are still required to have a permit with the Portland Police Bureau.

Q. Can I pay my bill or make account changes online?
A.
Unfortunately, at this time we are not set up for online payments or account maintenance.  We are working to try to get it in place and will alert our customers when that option becomes available. At this time, we accept checks, money order, VISA, MasterCard, American Express, & Discover. You can send payments through the US Postal Service, or call/FAX us to make credit card payments. Make your checks payable to Portland Police Alarms.

Q. Can you recommend an alarm company?
A.
The Portland Police Bureau’s Alarm Administration cannot show favoritism among the many alarm companies in the area. We can however, direct you to the Oregon Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (OBFAA) which will provide more information about alarms systems.

Q. What is a False Alarm?
A.
Typically, a false alarm occurs when an officer is dispatched to your home or business and there is no sign of a crime. Faulty equipment, user error, pets, drafts from heaters/air conditioners/wind from open windows can all contribute to false alarm calls. Your best defense against false alarm calls is to get educated about how to prevent them. Please watch our educational video or visit the False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA
) website. Appeals for false alarms MUST be made in writing form and submitted to the Alarms Coordinator either by mail or email. (See contact info below)

Q. How can I contact you?
A.
You can Call: 503-823-0031 Mon-Fri 8:00am – 4:00pm; FAX: 503-823-0507; Email: Alarms@PortlandOregon.gov ; or Write: Portland Police Alarm Administration, PO Box 1867, Portland, OR 97207-1867. We do not have an office location open for public visitation.

 

Nearby Jurisdictions:

  • Beaverton Police Department – 503-526-2525
  • Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office – 503-655-8822
  • Milwaukie, City of – 503-786-7400
  • Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office – 503-251-2411 (Includes Fairview, Gresham, Troutdale, Maywood Park, Wood Village,  and unincorporated portions of Multnomah County)
  • Tigard Police Department – 503-639-6168
  • Tualatin Police Department – 503-691-4800
  • Vancouver Police Alarm Unit – 360-696-8172
  • Washington County Sheriff’s Office – 503-846-2519
       

False Alarm Prevention For Businesses

What Do False Alarms Cost YOUR Business?

False Alarm Prevention At Home

Does YOUR Home Security System Cry Wolf?

Alarm Reinstatement Form

Use this form to reinstate a suspended alarm permit.

False Alarm Prevention Guides

Specific Information for Banks, Schools, Churches, and Government Alarm Systems.