Gwinnett Citizen News

The Gwinnett County Police Department is partnering with a private neighborhood watch program to deter crime. Under an agreement approved by the Board of Commissioners on May 7, the department will be able to access videos submitted by subscribers of Ring, a doorbell video company that forms online crime watch networks with neighborhood users.

The company will donate 80 Ring Video Doorbell 2s valued at $15,920, which the department will give away and help install. However, residents do not need the Ring security system to be a part of the Ring online crime watch network, called Neighbors. Unlike other social media-type networks, Ring is solely dedicated to crime prevention.

Gwinnett Police Chief Butch Ayers said, "This agreement will allow the Gwinnett County Police Department to engage the community with a tool that can assist in solving crimes, help in reporting suspicious activities, and provide timely notifications by residents of potential problems in their neighborhoods."

Ring sells doorbells equipped with video cameras triggered by motion. Residents can volunteer those recordings to help police investigate crimes. Police cannot access live stream video and cannot access videos that residents do not submit.

Ring also offers an app that allows users to post on a page with neighbors to alert one another of possible criminal activity. The agreement with Ring allows Gwinnett police to follow those conversations to track burglars and other criminals.

Gwinnett County Police Department will meet with neighborhood groups that are designated COPS communities to discuss the Neighbors crime watch app. Residents of these neighborhoods who download the app will be entered into a raffle to win a doorbell video camera. One Ring doorbell camera will be raffled per COPS community. The Gwinnett County Police Department will help install the device at the winners' residences at a later date.