CASTLE SHANNON, Pa. — More people are investing in doorbell cameras to keep their homes safe, but some of those cameras are keeping an eye on more than your property: they're helping police watch over your neighborhood.
Two police departments in Allegheny County are part of a national effort to use Ring cameras to solve crimes, according to a new article.
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Amazon's Ring is partnering with more than 400 departments nationwide for this initiative, including Baldwin and Castle Shannon, according to the Washington Post.
It's part of an effort to crack down on crime and keep a safe watch in your community.
The popular doorbell cameras record video in real time and then share the content to the Ring app in your neighborhood.
Hundreds of police departments have partnered up for the "neighbors portal," according to Ring.
Both Castle Shannon police and Baldwin police have reportedly offered deep discounts to be a part of the program.
This is an extension of the Neighbors app, where police can communicate with people in the area about crime and concerns. In a blog post, a Ring spokesperson said in part:
"We wanted to easily facilitate conversations around crime and safety among all members of the community, and we invited local law enforcement agencies to contribute to those discussions. Neighbors and local law enforcement have achieved amazing results by working together through the Neighbors app, from getting stolen guns off the streets to helping families keep their children safe."
Critics say there are big concerns and questions over if police are too involved, or if you’re being watched too closely by agreeing to this initiative and becoming an informant.
Residents can opt out of providing footage and decline requests.
Castle Shannon Police Chief Ken Truver said there should not be any privacy concerns, and the borough does not get any kickback from the agreement.
“We don’t have access to any video. We don’t have access to any details … just simply open lines of communication that we can reach out to people who may have surveillance video that may help us in our investigation,” Truver said.
The program initially started in the spring of 2018.
Cox Media Group