BLOOMINGTON — The Bloomington Police Department has added a new communication and crime-fighting tool — the Neighbors by Ring app.
The online app is "a great way for our department to provide our community with real-time local crime information, as well as an efficient way to share crime-related videos with each other,” said Bloomington Police Chief Clay Wheeler in an email Tuesday. “We can help reduce crime by working directly with our citizens, in person and online.”
Ring is an Amazon company whose product lines include home security devices and services.
The app can be downloaded online at https;//download.ring.com/neighbors or by texting 'bloomingtonpd' to 555888 from a smartphone.
Users must verify where they are located and cannot participate in other neighborhoods. They then will receive alerts from neighbors, local law enforcement and the Ring team.
Users can view local crime and safety posts via a live feed or interactive map and share text updates, photos and videos taken on any device, including Ring’s home security devices.
"Your posts on the Neighbors app do not include your name, so you are anonymous to the public," said BPD Public Affairs Officer John Fermon. "Also, you do not need to own a Ring device to be a part of the Neighbors app. You can post anything, including videos, even if it is not a Ring camera.
"Think of this as on online, anonymous neighborhood watch," said Fermon.