Howard Co. police partner with ‘Neighbors’ video-sharing app to curb local crime

WASHINGTON — The Howard County Police Department will be the first law enforcement agency in Maryland to partner with the video-sharing app Neighbors, the department recently announced.

Neighbors is a neighborhood watch app, produced by Ring, that uses doorbell cameras and alerts to keep the public up to date on neighborhood crime. The partnership aims to “provide the community with easy access to shared videos, photos and other safety information,” Howard County police said in a statement.

Police pointed out that the app is free and residents do not need to own a doorbell camera to access shared photos and videos. They also said the app would not compromise personal privacy; police will not be able to directly access users’ cameras.

“With the increased popularity of doorbell cameras and strong collaboration with our community, we hope these videos will help us close more cases and solve more crimes,” Police Chief Gary Gardner said in the statement.

Howard County police said a recently released doorbell video of a fatal pedestrian collision resulted the identification of the vehicle the next day.

“We’re excited to have Howard County police be the first in Maryland to join Neighbors to keep their community up-to-date on local crime and safety information,” said Jamie Siminoff, founder of Ring, in the statement. “Neighbors is meant to facilitate real-time communication … while maintaining neighbor privacy first and foremost.”

This article was written by WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters and republished with permission. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today.

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