[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Glocester 5-14-1987 (Ch. II, § 12, 2-12-05, of the 1991 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- PRIVATE DETECTIVE
- Includes any person who engages in business or who accepts employment for hire, fee or reward to furnish or supply information as to the personal character or actions or identity or business activities of any person; to inquire into unsolved crimes; to engage in clandestine surveillance; to search for missing persons; or to search for lost or stolen property; provided that "private detective" shall not include within its meaning a detective or officer belonging to the law enforcement agencies of the United States or of any state, county or city, nor someone employed and performing services exclusively for a single employer.
Every person shall be and is required by this chapter to have a valid detective's license as a condition precedent to the operation as a private detective; provided that licenses heretofore issued and in effect shall continue in effect until the expiration of the period for which such license was granted. Upon expiration of any such presently existent valid detective licenses, application for renewal shall be made in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
It shall be unlawful after the effective date of this chapter for any person to operate or continue to operate any business as a private detective without first complying with the requirements of this chapter.
All applications for a license under the provisions of this chapter shall be made in writing to the Town Council upon forms provided by the Town Clerk in his/her office.
Every application for a license shall state the following:
The full name, date of birth, residence, present and previous occupations, including part-time occupations, and the name and address of present and previous employers.
That each person signing the application as hereinafter required is a citizen of the United States or, if an alien, has permanent resident status in the United States.
The location of the principal place of business of the applicant.
A full set of fingerprints and a photograph taken within one year of the application date.
That the applicant has been a bona fide resident of the state for a period of not less than 30 days immediately preceding the filing of the application.
Such other information as to the identity of the applicant as may facilitate investigation of the applicant's character.
The application shall be signed and sworn to by the individual applying before a person authorized to administer oaths.
The application shall be accompanied by three letters of reference, two of which shall be from residents of the Town attesting to the character and ability of the applicant, and at least one of whom shall be from someone from a criminal justice agency.
After the applicant has properly executed the form provided in § 230-3 and paid the cost of investigation as provided in Subsection B, the Town Clerk shall submit the application, together with all other information related thereto, to the Chief of Police, who shall conduct an investigation of the character of the applicant and, upon completion of his/her investigation, shall endorse upon the application his/her recommendation of approval or disapproval thereof and his/her opinion of the ability of the applicant to perform the services usually required of a private detective. For this purpose the Chief of Police may require the applicant to appear in person for an interview.
Every applicant for a license under this chapter shall, upon properly executing the application in conformity with § 230-3, submit to the Town Clerk a fee as set from time to time by the Town Council to cover the costs of investigation of the applicant.
The Town Council, upon being satisfied that the applicant's licensing will not be detrimental to the public safety or welfare, may grant the application; and the Town Clerk shall thereupon issue the license upon payment of fees required by this chapter and filing of a bond as hereinafter required; provided that no license shall be issued to any person who:
Has been convicted in any jurisdiction of a felony; or
Has been convicted of two or more misdemeanors involving moral turpitude (unless the Council determines that the applicant has been rehabilitated); or
Has been denied a private investigator's license or registration, or had such license or registration revoked, by the valid action of any local licensing authority; or
Has been declared by any court of competent jurisdiction to be incompetent by reason of mental defect or disease, unless said court has subsequently determined that his or her competency has been restored; or
Suffers from habitual drunkenness or narcotics addiction or dependency; or
Does not have:
At least five years' experience as an investigator or as a police officer with a state, county or municipal police department or with an investigative agency of the United States of America or of any state, county or municipality; or
A degree in criminal justice from an accredited college or university; or
At least five years' experience as an investigator working for a licensed private detective; or
Substantially equivalent training or experience.
Any license issued in accordance with the provision of this chapter shall be for a term of one year and may be renewed annually, subject to the payment of the appropriate fee as established by this chapter and subject to § 230-11 hereof. At the time of such renewal the Chief of Police shall conduct such investigation and make such recommendation as provided in § 230-4 hereof.
No license under this chapter shall be issued or renewed until the applicant pays to the Town Clerk a license fee as provided in Chapter 368, Fees.
No license shall be issued under this chapter until the applicant files with the Town a surety bond executed by a surety company authorized to do business in this state, in the sum of $5,000 conditioned for the faithful and honest conduct of the business of private detectives. Such bond, as to its form, execution and sufficiency of the sureties, shall be approved by the Town Council.
The bond required shall be taken in the name of the people of the state, and every person injured by the willful, malicious and wrongful act of the principal may bring an action on the bond in his own name to recover damages suffered by reason of such willful, malicious or wrongful act.
Every licensee shall at all times maintain on file the surety bond required by this chapter in full force and effect, and upon failure to do so the license shall be forthwith suspended until such a bond is furnished.
Every person licensed hereunder shall be given a permanent license number and shall be issued an identification card which shall be approximately 2 1/2 inches wide and 3 1/2 inches long and shall bear thereupon the number assigned to the licensee, the full name, date of birth, residence address, brief description of the licensee, his fingerprints and photograph, a space upon which the licensee shall write his usual signature with pen and ink, or a facsimile of such signature and the expiration date of such license.
The transfer or assignment of any license issued hereunder is hereby expressly prohibited.
The Town Council shall have the power to revoke, suspend or deny renewal of any license issued under the provisions of this chapter for cause, which may include but shall not be limited to violation of any of the provisions of this chapter or any laws of the state or other ordinances of the Town in the conduct of the business, in which case the Town Council by a majority vote may revoke the license for such business after first giving written notice to the licensee and after a hearing thereon.
It shall be a violation of this chapter for which the license may be revoked or other penalties imposed if any licensee:
Performs any services usually performed by a private detective, upon speculation and with a view towards selling the information so gathered to a customer by whom the licensee was not employed when the service was performed;
Misrepresents the scope of such license, or holds himself or herself out as a public official or as having any power beyond that of a private detective.
Makes a material misstatement in the application for granting or renewal of the license.
Any person violating the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than $200 nor more than $500, or by imprisonment in the adult correctional institutions for not more than six months, or by both such fine and such imprisonment; but nothing herein contained shall apply to a detective of another state coming within this state in the performance of his or her duties for a temporary period and on a specific matter.