INDIANAPOLIS — Home surveillance cameras, especially doorbell cameras, can sometimes play an important role in police investigations. One of the most popular doorbell camera companies, Ring, announced it would be making changes to how police could get video from people’s home security cameras.
Ring announced on its website it’s getting rid of the Request for Assistance feature in its Neighborhood App. The head of that app posted this on the app’s page:
“Public safety agencies like fire and police departments can still use the Neighbors app to share helpful safety tips, updates, and community events. They will no longer be able to use the RFA tool to request and receive video in the app. Public safety agency posts are still public, and will be available for users to view on the Neighbors app feed and on the agency’s profile.”
“We don’t anticipate this having a big impact on any of our investigations. We rely heavily on our community and their support in providing video footage to us,” said IMPD Ofc. Amanda Hibschman. “We need that video footage, but they’re usually very supportive of us and we typically go through the homeowner or the owner of that camera and that footage in sending it to us.”
Lafayette Police tell 13News they don’t see this change affecting its investigations, either. They’ve used the Neighbors App in the past with little success.
Greenfield Police said they actively use the app, but don’t believe the change will cause problems locally. They use a different site allows them to integrate a camera registry that allows community members to register home surveillance cameras with the department.
Like IMPD, they’ve had little problems getting people’s doorbell camera video in person.
“We’re very appreciative of the relationships we have with our community members, so we haven’t had a real issue with not being able to obtain video footage,” said Hibschman.