RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. — With the download of an app communities can get crime alerts right on their phone. And now the Richland County Sheriff's Department is on board. They have partnered with the neighbors app by Ring to keep track of crimes happening in neighborhoods.
"It's just another form of communication like the body cameras we wear," Richland County Sheriff's Department Captain of Public Information Maria Yturria said. "It just gives us a different view points."
The Ring doorbell security feature can be extremely helpful, but if you don't have a ring you can still be tuned in to what is happening on your street with the Neighbors app.
"There are a lot of neighborhoods that have neighborhood watch programs so this is just another form of that," Yturria said.
The app is a place where people can upload pictures, videos, and text posts about crime in their area for free. The Richland County Sheriff's Department hopes this will help keep neighborhoods safer.
"It gives us the ability to see if people are communicating about a specific thing, then we can communicate in that same form with them., the people that are already on there and say we are interested in cameras from this area or these roads please share and they don't have to share them publicly," Yturria said.
Law enforcement said with the help of the Ring video door bell they have been able to solve cases.
"We have had incidents were people have sent in their videos, and a lot of times it's people stealing stuff from their vehicles or stealing things from their yards, where they capture the person that came to their house or they capture the vehicle and the send it to us," Yturria said.
If you are concerned about your privacy, you don't have to share anything. Deputies said it is completely up to you and on the app the only identity shown is law enforcement.
Richland County Sheriff's Department does want to remind folks who use the app that if there is an emergency don't try to contact them through the app, dial 911.
For more information on the app, visit the Ring website.