MATTHEWS, N.C. (WBTV) - It gives a new meaning to “neighborhood watch” as Matthews Police (MPD) are looking to use your surveillance video to catch criminals.
Thousands of people have them on their homes: surveillance cameras, like those from the company Ring, are growing in popularity. And now they could be the key to solving crimes in your community.
Ring is partnering with 200 police departments across the nation in an attempt to make it easier for officers to request and access surveillance video from neighbors.
“It’s in high need when it’s a vital situation," said Tim Aycock, MPD Public Information Officer.
Anyone with a Ring doorbell can register their surveillance system with the department. It’s a way for detectives to have more eyes on the streets to solve crimes.
“Time is of the essence when you’re trying to do stuff like that,” said Aycock.
The program doesn’t cost the department a dime. For taxpayers like Amy Dzura, that’s all the better.
“I think it’s really innovative and I mean the more that they can spend on the other needs that they may have and being conscious of the budget,” said Dzura.
Dzura says she would be on board with the idea if her privacy would never be compromised.
“I’m not a hard no, but I definitely want to learn more about the program,” Dzura continued.
Tom Gill lives right around the corner and is practically jumping at the chance to help the men and women in blue, if it means keeping the community safe.
Gill said, “I’m all for it and I have a feeling that I could gather 30-40 of our neighbors and they would agree with me so I think anything we can do to help them do a better job even though they do a wonderful job to begin with – all for it.”
When it comes to privacy matters, the department says you don’t need to worry.
“We’re not going to ever ask for a live feed of your video. It’s not big brother watching or anything like that,” Aycock confirmed.
Even if you register your ring doorbell with the police department, you don’t have to share your video if you don’t want to. Officers will always check in you to make sure they have the green light to access any recordings.
The company sent WBTV this statement: