Hopewell City Council discusses providing Ring cameras to residents

As crime continues to spike in Hopewell, city leaders discussed a program to provide Ring doorbell cameras to residents.
Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 10:55 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 28, 2023 at 11:09 PM EST
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HOPEWELL, Va. (WWBT) - As crime continues to spike in Hopewell, city leaders discussed a potential program Tuesday night to provide Ring doorbell cameras to residents.

The idea was brought forward by members of the city-wide neighborhood watch as one solution to lower crime.

So far in 2023, Hopewell has had four murders and on Tuesday a shooting took place near Hopewell High School causing the school to shelter in place.

Tuesday night, Concetta Manker, the interim city manager, presented research on what a program would look like for residents to get doorbell cameras.

The idea has been put in place in other parts of Virginia, like Portsmouth in 2022, and would provide residents with a camera for security while at the same time helping police when crime happens.

Manker told the council there are some limitations with the technology, including if a resident does not have wifi at their home.

“If we want to think about citizens having wifi in the home, then we would need to think about what that looks like like if we pass out cameras,” Manker said. “We have to think about providing services for them to have wifi as well.”

She also suggested leaders create criteria for residents to be part of the program and also create a signed agreement to allow police to access the footage when needed.

The city said police are also looking at using the app, Neighbors by Ring, which allows users to share footage in real-time.

“So that will allow the real-time crime center to see all of that video footage that’s coming in around the city and try to get ahead of the crime that’s happening or to respond to those criminal activities faster,” Manker said.

The program would come at a cost of more than $3,000 for 30 cameras and up to more than $22,000 for 200 cameras.

The city would also need to pay for a service each year to store the footage, ranging from $3,000 to nearly $10,000 depending on how many cameras are used.

City leaders did not vote on the program yet and there is no word on when the discussion may be brought back up.