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Grand Rapids Police partner with Ring

The app will not tell police the user’s name or exact location. All videos will be shared voluntarily.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Police Department announced a partnership with Ring, using their Neighbors app.

Neighbors is a free app, that lets a user view Ring video doorbell footage around their home.

“A ring doorbell camera provides a lot of information,” said Sergeant John Wittkowski, “a lot of information we don’t normally have access to.”

The department will use the new tool to communicate with the community. Police officers will be able to comment and post information about crime and safety. They will also have access to publicly shared doorbell video on the app.

The app will not tell police the user’s name or exact location. All videos will be shared voluntarily.

“For example, a car was stolen and no one was home at a particular residence that we know has a ring doorbell,” explained Wittkowski, “We can request that video from the person, and anyone within a geographic area. If they want to send it to us, they can send it to us.”

The partnership launched officially Thursday, but it’s already being used to solve a car theft in the north part of the city.

Wittkowski said Ring reached out to the department for the partnership. Using the Neighbors app does not cost the city any money. Wittkoski says it’s a tool that will help police solve crime at a higher rate.

RELATED: Michigan law targeting 'porch pirates' goes into effect Dec. 16

“The big one is the so-called porch piracy,” Said Wittkowski. “The State of Michigan recently passed a new law that could make it a felony by stealing packages off porches. This will really be beneficial in these types of instances. Typically those crimes would go unsolved, to be honest with you.”

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