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Norfolk Police Department first in Virginia to join Neighborhood App by Ring

NORFOLK, Va. - Ring Doorbells have pretty much captured it all - thieves, unwanted visitors and people up to no good.

If you have one installed in your home, instead of just sharing the videos on social media, you can share them with police anonymously.

"[People] want to have a role in making their community safer, and we love citizens like that," Cpl. William Pickering with the Norfolk Police Department says.

The Norfolk Police Department announced Monday that it is the first law enforcement agency in the state to join the Neighbors app by Ring.

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The app will be used to bring Norfolk citizens local crime and safety information. All you have to do is download the app, create an account and scroll away. 

Once you've downloaded and joined your neighborhood, users are able to customize their geographic area in which they want to receive notifications about what's happening. Police can also customize their posts.

"So, if I have a serial burglar in a particular area, I can just identify those neighborhoods, those homes in that area and send information to them. I don't have to necessarily send that out to the entire City of Norfolk," Pickering says.

Norfolk residents can download the Neighbors app for free, join their neighborhood, then use the app to monitor neighborhood activity, share crime and safety-related videos, photos and text-based posts and receive real-time safety alerts from their neighbors, local law enforcement and the Ring team.

“The Norfolk Police Department is committed to finding innovative ways to serve our residents and keep their neighborhoods safe. In 2017 and 2018, we celebrated a historic double-digit reduction in crime; In 2019, our goal is to continue to build authentic relationships within our communities while reducing crime throughout Norfolk,” said Chief Larry D. Boone. “The Neighbors app provides a free and effective way for residents to receive updates from Norfolk police and for us to collaborate as a community in order to reduce crime.  Norfolk residents are already using Neighbors to share crime and safety-related photos, videos and information with one another and we are excited to now be a part of the conversation.”

Officers say since the new year started, there hasn't been a homicide in the City of Norfolk. They hope this technology will help keep the community on track.

The app isn't just for people who own the Ring doorbell - anyone can download it.

An interactive map shows local crime and safety posts and videos can be posted from any resident.

The Neighbors network has millions of users and has been helpful in catching package thieves and stopping burglaries, as well as keeping neighborhoods safe.

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