'New neighborhood watch’: Doorbell cameras helping homeowners, law enforcement

Published: Jun. 21, 2019 at 11:55 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2019 at 11:56 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - This week Ashland Police Department announced they have partnered with Neighbors by Ring, an app that works in conjunction with the popular Ring doorbell cameras.

Neighbor by Ring allows residents to share videos of criminal activity like home break-ins and like stolen packages right at their fingertips.

Richmond police first joined the growing surveillance technology back in March.

Lt. Anthony Jackson with Richmond police says this technology is a game-changer for all law enforcement agencies.

“A lot of people look at it as the new neighborhood watch,” Jackson said. “You can share with all your neighbors and you can share it with the police department.”

The police will only see videos a community posts if it is directly shared with a law enforcement agency.

Homeowners and law enforcement are increasingly reliant on Ring cameras to stop crime.
Homeowners and law enforcement are increasingly reliant on Ring cameras to stop crime.

Mac Livingston lives in the Fan District and got his doorbell camera along with the app a month ago in response to a homicide in his neighborhood last month along Stuart Avenue.

“Working with law enforcement is the best way we can ultimately stop crime,” Livingston said.

Livingston said while he hasn’t had to notify police yet of suspicious activity, he’s glad there are more options to alert authorities as soon as trouble strikes.

“Relying purely on the police’s ability to be the detectives out on the street is one thing, but I think if you supplement it with neighborhood information that’s really going to help things,” Livingston said.

Users voluntarily choose to share information with police agencies, and law enforcement does not have any access to information or video stored in your devices.

“If you’re on vacation or somewhere else and you notice something on your phone, you can notify us immediately and we can have a quick response,” Jackson said.

You don’t have to own a Ring camera to download the app. Once it’s on your phone, you can receive updates of what’s going on around you from what your neighbors are posting.

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