BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — With the increase in homicides, the Bakersfield Police Department announced a new resource they plan to use to help with a crime in the neighborhood.
Over 400 hundred law enforcement agencies across the county have partnered with the ring neighbor’s app since 2018 and now BPD is joining those organizations and they say it’s already been effective.
“From the interaction, today already that our detectives and sergeants are already interacting with our community which is great,” said Alysen Gelinas, Community Relations Specialist with BPD. “So, we’re really hoping that it’s going to be an effective way to communicate with our community and solve crimes in a timely manner.”
Gelinas said officers have already started to use the app.
“For example, there was a video posted about catalytic converter thefts and our detectives reached out and said hey we want you to report this so we can get a case number going so we can follow up and investigate,” said Gelinas.
But Gelinas said it’s important to understand the app is for information but reports still need to be made.
“Typically, we want people to always still report those because this is not a reporting tool, this is an information-sharing tool,” said Gelinas.
To use the neighbor's app, you do not have to have a ring doorbell; you can simply download the app on your mobile device and share videos and information.
“Someone that has a crime committed or that they capture on their video, they can upload to the neighbor’s platform and everyone within the city of Bakersfield has access to see it,” said Gelinas
According to ring the Bakersfield Fire Department also started partnering with the app in February and throughout April and June alone they requested four videos.
“We can actually compose, post, and send out information too. So, if we see burglaries or vehicle burglaries in a specific area we can post and say, ‘hey you need to do x,y, and z to prevent this kind of crime,” said Gelinas.
But law enforcement agencies cannot contact people directly after criticism for security during the first two years of the app where law enforcement could use the video without warrants.
As of June, police now have to post "request for assistance" in order for users to respond publicly for help.
Despite this BPD is hopeful it will help reduce crime in Bakersfield.
“So, it’s just a really good way to interact as a community and really stop crime,” said Gelinas.
It’s also important to note that users do have full control over who views their ring footage, only content they choose to make public will appear on the neighbor's app.