More central Ohio first responders making use of home doorbell cameras | #socialmedia

More and more police and fire agencies nationwide are partnering with Amazon and Ring to join a platform that allows them to request footage of suspected crimes captured by doorbell security cameras.

However, as more privacy concerns emerge for homeowners with Ring devices, Greater Columbus police and fire agencies say they remain mindful of user’s privacy.

In August 2019, only 405 law enforcement agencies were using the Neighbors Public Safety Service, a Ring platform through which participating agencies can request voluntary footage from Ring participants. Now, that number has swelled to more than 2,160 participating law enforcement agencies, according to a Congressional inquiry into privacy concerns.

In Greater Columbus, there are now more than a dozen police or fire agencies of various sizes that partner with Ring, a subsidiary of Amazon, and the Neighbors platform.

Columbus has 3,428 public surveillance cameras. Here’s how they’re used

Columbus police Zone Investigations Sgt. Jeff Spencer said most footage they receive from Ring doorball cameras are of package thefts and break-ins. He said the service is useful for establishing trends of crimes in areas in the city and identifying package thieves on social media.

Columbus police homicide investigators have also been seen canvassing residents for Ring or other security footage in neighborhoods following homicides. 

Perry Township police Det. Charlie Mills said the service helps with investigations into package thefts, car break-ins and even neighbor disputes. One recent neighbor dispute he responded to “crossed into criminal activity,” and he believes footage from a Ring will help with a conviction.

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