BRANSON, Mo. — The Branson Police Department has a new set of eyes that can help catch criminals in action.
Branson PD is one of over 400 police departments across the country digitizing neighborhood watch groups through the Neighbors by Ring app.
Ring devices are personal surveillance systems that come in the form of doorbells, cameras and other gear. The tech tools not only give real time crime alerts, but now police can view videos and message community members when something happens in their area. Ring videos can be uploaded through the app and allow officers to form a better timeline when reviewing evidence.
Assistant Police Chief Eric Schmitt believes the app is useful in keeping communities connected, but should never replace calling 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency.
“They either assume somebody has called, or they think they’re wrong in what they’re assuming, or they think that the police are too busy and don’t want to bother us,” said Schmitt on common reasons police might get left out of the loop. “If it’s something that needs to get to us fast, that’s why we have 9-1-1, and we need people to not just type about it– they need to reach out and let us know as well.”
Citizens do not need a Ring device in order to receive some of the alerts, only a smartphone is required.
The “Neighborhood” feature is built into the standard Ring app for those that have a device, but others can download Neighbors by Ring in the App Store or on Google Play.