Phoenix police can now crowdsource evidence of crimes from residents

Dec 13, 2018, 1:04 PM
(Twitter Photo)...
(Twitter Photo)
(Twitter Photo)

PHOENIX — Residents in Phoenix will now be able to share potential evidence of a crime that was captured on their home security device with police.

But Sgt. Vince Lewis with the Phoenix Police Department assured residents that officers will not be able to tap into those devices and monitor them around the clock.

The department recently announced it joined the Neighbors app, which is offered through the global home security company Ring.

The free app that allows anyone — not just those with Ring devices — to share videos, photos and other information about crime and safety with those in their neighborhood.

While the app is primarily used to share information between neighbors, Lewis said the department can look at the feed and reach out to residents for video or photos if a crime is suspected.

However, Lewis said the app will not be a primary tool for reporting crime and residents will still need to call CrimeStop or 911 if they believe a crime has taken place.

“We do not have live access to Ring or any video or devices,” he said. “We have no live listening capabilities on Neighbors or (social networking service) Nextdoor.”

Ring vets the content that is uploaded by users before it is fed into the feed, but Lewis said once the videos or photos have been uploaded, the department is able to access it.

“If we need more or better quality, or the original, we can then contact the poster,” he said.

But if the department wants footage of a possible crime but a user has not uploaded it to the app, Lewis said officers would reach out to the resident, ask them to voluntarily review their own footage and “work it out from there.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ashley Flood contributed to this report. 

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Phoenix police can now crowdsource evidence of crimes from residents