Alarm companies must have a license to operate in most US states – especially the “traditional” companies with salespeople knocking on doors and technicians running wires. There is no federal alarm company license, though there has been talk of one for years: each state sets its own requirements. Maryland is one of the toughest states, and they do take action against scofflaws. A press release issued by the Maryland State Police reports on one alarm company that didn’t play by the rules – and was busted:
A Maryland State Police Licensing Division investigation into an unlicensed Cecil County security alarm company has resulted in the criminal conviction of the company’s owner. Lawrence E. Echols, Jr. pled guilty on February 26, 2009 in Cecil County Circuit Court to operating a securities system business without a license. Echols was sentenced to probation before judgment, six months unsupervised probation, and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.
I’ve addressed this state and local licensing issue before, in a prior post that outlines the philosophy and practice of alarm licensing requirements. Only a handful of states have no alarm license, and that list is shrinking. It also happens that Maryland is among the toughest, and many counties in Maryland (Montgomery, Baltimore, Prince George’s, etc.) have their own separate license – which, of course, you cannot obtain unless you have the Maryland State license first!
More on the Maryland Conviction
In September 2008 the Maryland State Police Licensing Division received a complaint reporting that Alarm Systems, Inc., located in Cecil County, Maryland, was operating without the required license issued by the Maryland State Police, and employing unlicensed technicians. An investigator contacted the company, and Echols identified himself as the owner. Echols said that he was aware of the requirements that mandate the licensing of Alarm System Agencies in Maryland. The investigator explained the licensing requirements, and provided Echols with the required Maryland State Police application for an Alarm System Agency, with instructions to promptly complete and submit the application.
Fast Police Response!
As of October 29, 2008, the application had not been received by the Licensing Division. The investigating trooper immediately contacted the Cecil County State’s Attorney’s Office, who recommended that Echols be charged criminally. On October 30, 2008, the investigating trooper served Echols with a criminal summons, charging him with engaging in a business without a license and misrepresentation of security systems technicians.
Alarm licensing is designed to protect consumers, and we consider it an important part of any alarm company’s resume. As a company providing interactive, wireless home security across the US and Canada, FrontPoint has invested significant time and energy to comply with all licensing requirements in every jurisdiction where our customers are located. We wish every alarm company was this compliant – and we encourage all our competitors to step up and make the same commitment. It’s that, or eventually get busted!