LOCAL NEWS

Police Departments Using Home Surveillance Cameras To Fight Crime

Aug 28, 2019, 10:13 PM | Updated: 11:18 pm

SANDY, Utah – Police departments across the country have signed on to a program designed by the makers of the Ring camera that could help them gather information and fight crime.

The program works with the popular Neighbors app, allowing detectives to access suspicious activity homeowners post to the app.

“Say there’s a rash of vehicle burglaries in a certain area, we can actually put a geofence around that area, and anybody that has posted videos, it’ll pop up and we can look through it and hopefully capture video of the suspects committing these burglaries,” said Sandy police Sargeant Jason.

Whether it’s someone knocking on your door in the middle of the night, someone creeping around your home, or someone seeing your camera and deciding to turn around, police said these cameras have made catching suspicious activity easier.

“It can potentially help quite a bit,” Nielson said. “Just the technology alone has increased our ability to gather information and to help people.”

So far, only the Sandy and Salt Lake City police departments have signed on to work with this app in Utah.

“It allows us to actually see things when we’re not there,” said Salt Lake City Police Detective Michael Huff. “I know one of the big things with Ring doorbells is package thefts. If we have the ability to watch someone go house to house, we may be able to track them down and find a vehicle, find where they’re going and hopefully catch those people.”

Some have said privacy could be a concern and wondered if the program could turn into “big brother,” watching at all times.

However, police departments said they’re not watching at all; they can only access what homeowners post to the Neighbors app feed.

“No, absolutely not,” Nielson said. “We don’t have any ability to actually get into anybody’s camera.”

Police also wanted to remind homeowners to still call 911 if they see something suspicious and not just post to the app.

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Police Departments Using Home Surveillance Cameras To Fight Crime