Anne Arundel County Police tapping into app to increase safety

WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) -- Anne Arundel County residents -- are you looking to make your neighborhood safer? Well, county police have started to use a popular home safety service that will give you the chance to work hand in hand with police officers.

Starting this week, police officers in Anne Arundel County will be able to use your pictures and videos in order to catch people suspected of various crimes.

Here's how it'll work: Police are asking residents to download the "Neighbors by Ring" app on your smartphone.

Once you join on the app, you'll then be able to upload video and pictures from your Ring home security device to the cloud.

Police will then have the ability to contact you and ask if they can use your uploaded media to help them apprehend any suspect involved in package thefts, car robberies or any other type of crime.

Robert Blackmore has been a Crofton resident for a few years now and owns a Ring home security device.

He says someone broke into his car several months ago -- an incident that persuaded him to use the "Neighbors by Ring" app.

Blackmore says the app makes him feel safer knowing other community members are on the lookout, yet he also mentioned some privacy issues.

He told FOX 5 he is concerned about other members in the neighborhood who may not want an image of their house out there, nevertheless, Blackmore feels the overall good the app does outweigh the negative.

"If this helps to alleviate some of the crime and give a police department the aggregated data that they need to be able to use their resources to effectively action something that happens in the neighborhood then that's fantastic. I think the benefit far outweighs any privacy concerns and honestly, I don't really have any," said Blackmore.

Police say they can only use the information uploaded to the app at the permission of the owner.
The app also hides the identity of every user who uploads any kind of information. The system has officially been adopted county wide on Monday.