Volusia County, FL – Detectives with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office (VCSO) have joined a new app that allows users to submit home security footage to help solve residential crimes.
On Wednesday, the VCSO completed a launch and training session with the home security company Ring shortly before announcing its participation in Ring’s ‘Neighbors’ app.
“This technology is going to solve and prevent crime, and our county is going to be safer and more prosperous because of it,” said Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood. “The people of Volusia County have always been our eyes and ears, but now they can connect directly to us and provide crucial evidence of a crime in real time.”
“This program represents the kind of bold, proactive and creative thinking we need as we capitalize on technology to go after the criminals on our streets,” said Chitwood.
Out of the estimated 3.5 million Ring cameras in the nation, there are more than 7,300 active devices installed in over 6,600 different locations in Volusia County. There are around 8,500 Volusia County residents on the Neighbors app, with 250 signing up in the last two weeks.
After downloading the app and uploading home security footage on the Ring cloud, VCSO detectives will be able to send users notifications about crimes that have happened within a certain proximity to their home. Detectives will supply the crime timeframe and will ask users for their corresponding footage. Users will be able to choose whether or not to review the footage and share it with VCSO detectives.
No one, including the VCSO, will be able to access camera live feeds or stored video without the user’s permission. The user must choose to share their information each time the VCSO crowdsources security footage.
Recording and reviewing footage on one camera (Ring Protect Basic Plan) will cost users $3 per month ($30 per year). Multiple cameras (Protect Plus Plan) will cost users $10 per month ($100 per year). According to Ring officials, the equipment and app have been successful in catching package thieves, stopping burglaries and keeping residents safe.
In addition to sharing videos with law enforcement, users will be able to discuss neighborhood activity and share crime and safety-related videos, photos and text posts. Users will also receive real-time alerts from other users, law enforcement, and Ring officials.
“We’re excited to have the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office join Neighbors to keep their community up-to-date on local crime and safety information,” said chief inventor and founder of Ring, Jamie Siminoff. Over the past few years we have learned that, when neighbors, the Ring team and law enforcement all work together, we can create safer communities. Neighbors is meant to facilitate real-time communication between these groups, while maintaining neighbor privacy first and foremost. By bringing security to every neighbor with the free Neighbors app, Volusia County residents can stay on top of crime and safety alerts as they happen.”
While the VCSO is the first law enforcement agency in Volusia to join the Neighbors app, over two dozen other agencies in Florida have partnered with Ring.
Ring provided the following steps for users on how to get set up on the app:
- Download the Neighbors app on iOS and Android
- Opt-in to join your neighborhood.
- Customize the geographic area you want to receive notifications for (users must verify where they are located and cannot participate in other neighborhoods).
- Receive real-time alerts from your neighbors, local law enforcement and the Ring team that inform of crime and safety alerts as they happen.
- View local crime and safety posts via a live feed or interactive map.
- Share text updates, photos and videos taken on any device, including Ring’s home security devices.
- Work with your community to make neighborhoods safer.