This Monday, The Kenosha Police Department announced that they have joined the Ring Neighbors program. Ring Neighbors is a network that allows residents to share safety concerns in the community and share photos and video evidence of crimes with police directly and anonymously. Although the program was created by the popular doorbell camera manufacturer, anyone can download and use the app. You can even submit photos and videos captured with non-ring-branded devices, like Arlo, Wyze, Foscam or any others.
Voluntary and Anonymous
Although police will have access to any videos and photos posted publicly, they would still need camera-owners’ permission to view other footage on residents’ devices. This doesn’t give police access to your private information without consent. Typically, with major crimes, KPD officers canvass the neighborhood and identify homes and businesses with visible surveillance cameras. They then knock on the door and ask for the footage. With the Neighbors program, the residents can submit the evidence to KPD more easily and remain anonymous. People concerned about being seen handing a CD or thumb-drive over to police can send the footage, thus helping solve crimes from their smartphone or computers.
“This is yet another tool to connect with our community”, said Kenosha Police Chief Eric Larsen. We spoke with Lt. Nosalik, who serves as the department spokesperson. “(This program) will help get evidence in our hands and protect people” said Nosalik. “This will save us time and get us evidence quicker.”
Among the group of officers who spearheaded this project is Kenosha Police Officer Shawn Morton, who serves as the department’s digital forensic evidence technician. “Officer Morton’s list qualifications and education in digital forensic’s is as long as a CVS receipt,” said a local IT expert. Morton stays busy examining phones, computers and other digital devices. He is the main point of contact for detectives when obtaining digital evidence.
Pleasant Prairie Police Success With Program
KCE spoke to Pleasant Prairie Police Chief David Smetana, who’s department has been a member of Ring Neighbors for about two years – before that, Community Camera Partnership (still in use). Smetana told us that the program helps his officers alert the public with images of events such as car entries and ruse burglary crimes. “It also helps get the community get involved with being able to secure their property and neighborhoods with a relatively low cost system.” said Smetana. PPPD goes a step beyond that of the Neighbors program with the Community Camera Partnership which logs addresses of homes and bushiness with cameras so that police know who to contact to request footage.
Private Surveillance Systems Huge Help To Law Enforcement Today
KPD’s Nosalik tells KCE that doorbell and other cameras have been a huge help to law enforcement as they become more popular. On April 5, 2013, a Kenosha man, Darshawn Frison shot and killed 23-year-old Carlos Garcia and 20-year-old Zachary Hernandez during a robbery. Kenosha Police Detective Jason Melichar was able to collect and analyze many videos from around the neighborhood and was able to put a time-line in place for the murders. Frison plead guilty to the two murders after learning of this evidence.
Here are the instructions for joining and using the program: https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us/articles/360035191212-Joining-Your-Neighborhood