Ring doorbell cameras help law enforcement agencies solve crime

By Brittany Jeffers - Reporter

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - Surveillance cameras have caught thieves nabbing packages on front porches and others darting out of backyards.

Video surveillance has become an increasingly effective crime-fighting tool for local law enforcement agencies.

"People are very quick to share video of a crime that happened at their home; we get them constantly," Harris County Precinct One Constable Alan Rosen said. "It helps us tremendously."

Nationwide growth

The interest in surveillance camera footage has grown nationwide.

According to the Washington Post, the doorbell camera company Ring has forged a partnership with more than 400 police forces across the U.S.

Local

Eight months ago, the Houston Police Department announced a partnership with Ring to the join the “Neighbors” app to help monitor neighborhood activity.

According to HPD, since the partnership, they have had dozens of arrests and thousands of videos submitted.

The Baytown Police Department, Sugar Land Police Department and the Harris and Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office have not partnered with Ring.

"We do have a contract with Ring that we are kind of vetting through to see if it is something that we want to do,” Rosen said.

Privacy

Some say use of videos brings up privacy questions. According to Ring's terms of service statement, users consent to allow the company to provide video “to law enforcement authorities, government officials and/or third parties” if the company thinks it’s necessary to comply with “legal process or reasonable government request.”

KPRC 2 legal analyst Brian Wice said the best thing buyers can do, in any situation, is to thoroughly read the contract.

"This is the 21st century. People have got to understand that we are going to sacrifice, on some level, our rights of privacy with a right of well-being and security,” Wice said.

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