The Sea Isle City Police Department is requesting residents, businesses, and organizations that have security cameras in place on their property to sign up for “Neighbors by Ring” to help police solve crimes in the area. Registration is voluntary and there is no cost associated with registration.
How does the Neighbors App work?
The Neighbors App uses your address to create a radius around your home. If anyone shares an alert on the App about crime or safety within that radius, you’ll get a notification on your phone and tablet. Conversely, if you share an alert on the App about a crime or safety issue in your radius, your neighbors will also get a notification on their phones and tablets. You can then comment on these alerts to provide additional information about local issues, give tips to avoid affected areas, share photos or videos to help neighbors stay on the lookout, etc.
How does the Neighbors App work with Sea Isle City Police Department?
Neighbors partners with the Sea Isle Police Department so they can share official, important crime and safety updates and work together with their local community to build trust and make neighborhoods safer.
When using Neighbors by Ring, the Sea Isle Police Department can see the same interface that all users see; the content is the same, the exact locations of posts are obfuscated, and the user’s personal identity is not displayed.
There are two key differences, though: 1) the Sea Isle police can view public posts from within their jurisdiction (instead of just their ‘neighborhood’) and 2) the Sea Isle Police Department posts are identified so users can clearly see that they are the source of the content.
This means that posts or comments made by the police department are clearly marked with their official title and name.
In an interview, Sea Isle Police Chief Tom McQuillen described Neighbors by Ring as “a great investigative tool” to help police fight crime.
“This is all of us working together – the police and the public – to keep Sea Isle safe,” he said.
McQuillen noted that Neighbors by Ring may have helped Sea Isle police quickly solve a hit-and-run accident last summer that badly injured a pedestrian. Police didn’t have any doorbell video of the accident, but arrested the driver following a month-long investigation using “old-fashioned” detective work.
The Sea Isle Police Department can only view the publicly available content in the Neighbors App, unless a user explicitly and voluntarily chooses to share their own recordings with police.
Exact locations of devices and user information are never provided to Sea Isle police without a user’s express permission or a valid and binding legal demand properly served on us.
The police department can request information from users within their jurisdiction (Ring sends the official request to users).
The Sea Isle City Police Department must reference a relevant case number in order to make a request within a specific, limited time range and area. Ring will then ask a targeted group of users in that area if they are willing to share any relevant footage with the Sea Isle City Police Department. It’s then up to the user to share their video file(s) or decline the request. Users can also opt out of all future requests by the Sea Isle Police Department. Again, Ring will not release user information without a user’s express permission or a valid and binding legal demand properly served on us.
For example if a burglary occurs down the street from your property, we would know your camera may have captured an image of a vehicle or suspect that could connect us to the suspects involved in the burglary. A detective would be able to contact you and ask to review the footage in hopes of identifying a suspect description or any information that can help the case. The Neighbors app will allow us to do the following:
- Post important information about crime and safety alerts to our community (Neighbors app users in our jurisdiction).
- View and comment on public posts within our jurisdiction as an identified Sea Isle City Police Department officer.
- Use a Video Request tool to ask Ring to request video footage from device owners.
- Ability to secure footage that device owners have publicly posted to the “Neighbors” app.
- Interact with device owners regarding investigations. (This could be just to ask them to contact the Police Department to speak with us over the phone or meet with them in person).
To sign up for the free Neighbors app, click on the following link: