Modern Extensions of Community Watch Program

Modern Extensions of Community Watch Program
Posted on 01/20/2022
Ring Neighbors App
The Pleasant Prairie Police Department in on Ring Neighbors, a network that allows residents to share safety concerns about local crime with the community. Users can post videos captured from cameras, distribute photos, post text, and receive real-time safety alerts with the Neighbors app.

“There are numerous Ring cameras in our community, and we understand the value those cameras can provide during investigations,” said Dave Smetana, Police Chief. “Being able to reach out on the Neighbors app when there is a crime or incident and ask the community to share footage and information is incredible. The technology allows public safety agencies to create safer communities by connecting with residents in a new way.”

Residents do not need a Ring device to join Neighbors. Anyone can participate by downloading the Neighbors app to their smartphone. Devices with the app can receive updates and post photos, text, or videos. All posts are anonymous, and a user’s name or address will only be shown if a user chooses to display it.

Community Camera Partnership
The Neighbors app works in tandem with the Community Camera Partnership. The ongoing crime-fighting partnership enables residents to share video footage from home security cameras if a crime or suspicious activity occurs.

Through a short questionnaire on the Village website, residents can log their home as a location where a camera may assist police if a crime or suspicious activity occurs. Police will mark the locations on a map. If a crime is reported near a camera location, officers will know they can contact the resident and ask to review the footage. Residents who wish to participate should can signup here.

The two platforms are modern extensions of community watch programs. All aspects of the programs are entirely voluntary. The Police Department does not have remote access to security systems or Ring devices. The homeowner remains in complete control of their camera systems.
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