CLEARWATER, Fla. -- While Ring doorbells are nothing new, an app the company recently launched could change how police departments do their job.
“Instead of having five cops in a neighborhood now you'll have, hopefully, 500 cops in a neighborhood,” Lt. Michael Walek of the Clearwater Police Department said.
Clearwater police are teaming up with the creator of the video doorbell, Ring. The Neighbors by Ring app allows users to post surveillance video from their doorbell to the social network, which operates like a digital neighborhood watch.
Users can comment and like posts, and police departments will be notified when videos are posted. The Clearwater Police Department will have officers trained to monitor the app.
“Now, we have to go door-to-door to canvas every house,” Walek said.
That time-consuming method of collecting surveillance video could be made easier with the app, he said.
The 2,000 Ring users in the Clearwater Police Department’s jurisdiction could post the video in a few clicks.
The company says the goal is to not only catch crooks, but also deter them.
“What we're seeing now is that, as more people know about this technology, that would-be burglars or criminals will actually leave the property before even trying something if they know that they're on camera or they think that someone might be home,” said August Cziment, director of operations for Ring.
The Clearwater Police Department solved a crime with the help of home surveillance video as recently as last week. A mom saw video of her own son breaking into a home and turned him in.
While that video wasn't from a Ring bell, Cziment said you can upload videos from any surveillance device.
Cziment said the company is also working with the Tampa Police Department and Manatee County Sheriff's Office. It has plans to expand to around 25 departments across Florida in the near future.
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