From Howard County Police Department.
With the increased use of doorbell cameras at residences in the region, the Howard County Police Department is announcing that it is the first law enforcement agency in Maryland to partner with a video-sharing app called “Neighbors” to provide the community with easy access to shared videos, photos and other safety information. The app is free to everyone and residents do not need to own a doorbell camera to access videos, photos and crime information for their neighborhoods.
The Neighbors network, which is hosted at no cost by the doorbell camera company Ring, already has thousands of users in Howard County and has been instrumental across the United States in catching package thieves, stopping burglaries, and keeping neighborhoods safe. Residents who use the app can access videos and alerts, which are posted anonymously by their neighbors and police. Users will not incur any fees or be asked to make a purchase at any time. For those who do have cameras, police will never be able to access users’ cameras directly.
“This is a completely free ‘digital neighborhood watch,’ that does not require you to have a doorbell camera, but will allow all residents to access videos and photos, without compromising anyone’s privacy,” said Police Chief Gary Gardner. “With the increased popularity of doorbell cameras and strong collaboration with our community, we hope these videos will help us close more cases and solve more crimes.”
In one recent case, Howard County police released doorbell video in a fatal pedestrian collision that resulted in identifying the involved vehicle the very next day.
Anyone can download the Neighbors app to monitor neighborhood activity; share crime and safety-related videos, photos and text posts; and receive real-time safety alerts from neighbors and police.
“We’re excited to have Howard County police be the first in Maryland to join Neighbors to keep their community up-to-date on local crime and safety information,” said Jamie Siminoff, Chief Inventor and Founder of Ring. “Over the past few years we have learned that when neighbors, the Ring team and law enforcement all work together, we can create safer communities. Neighbors is meant to facilitate real-time communication between these groups, while maintaining neighbor privacy first and foremost. Through the Neighbors app, Howard County communities can stay on top of crime and safety alerts as they happen.”
How It Works in Three Easy Steps
1. Download on iPhone or Android via this link: http://download.ring.com/howardcountypd
2. See real-time alerts from your neighbors, police and the Ring team about crime and safety alerts.
3. Share text updates, photos and videos taken on any device to help make your neighborhood safer.
For more information about the Neighbors app, visit www.ring.com/neighbors.