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Neighbors app helps neighbors connect, keep an eye on crime

Posted at 4:51 AM, Apr 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-10 08:35:22-04

GILBERT, AZ — This week, more Valley police departments have digitally gotten on board with the 'Neighbors' app by Ring.

It is like a Facebook feed designed specifically for your neighborhood. Users can click through videos and posts about crime in the area without even stepping out the front door.

It is an upgrade to a pretty common practice of a Neighborhood Block Watch.

The signs are up in most communities in the Valley that support residents contacting police for any suspicious persons or activities. With local police agencies teaming up with the app, it is changing the way communities learn of crime.

Ring is a doorbell security system that captures video and many people choose to upload surveillance video to the 'Neighbors' app. However, you do not have to have a Ring system to use the app.

"You can join it just by being in a neighborhood," explained Gilbert Police Sergeant Mark Marino. "Being able to see what's going on in your neighborhood, and if you have something strange happen...you don't have to have cameras to post something. 'Hey, this happened in my neighborhood. Do you guys have any information about that?'"

To use it, the user will type in their address. However, the public cannot see that. The user will only be identified by a general area. Also, each user is given a generic user name so all of your posts are anonymous.

Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, and Phoenix are just some of the police departments who have already joined forces with the app so far.

"I think the most important thing is it allows people in their neighborhood to see what's going on and a little more sense of connection and safety," said Sergeant Mark Marino. "Where you used to talk to your neighbors about 'Hey, did you see this person?' Now, you have an app that allows you to do the same thing and share any video that you have with the public."

To download the app, click here.