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Public safety meets social media: Sykesville residents can use app to share Ring footage with police

Sykesville Police Chief Michael Spaulding at his desk.
Sykesville Police Chief Michael Spaulding at his desk. (Wiley Hayes, Staff Photo)

The Sykesville Police Department signed an agreement with Ring representatives that will allow residents to share their Ring footage in an effort to catch possible criminals in the act, or at least in the area.

Ring is a home security system that has commonly been attached to doorbells and used by people via smart phone to watch a livestream from their doorstep.

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Sykesville residents can share video via the Neighbors by Ring app, which they can download by texting “staysafe” to 555888, according to Sykesville Police Department Chief Michael Spaulding.

“They can join the app and they can share information with other neighbors who are on the app and we can have access to that,” said Spaulding. “I kind of look at it as a public safety, social media-type situation.”

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Gaining access to these videos makes the footwork for Sykesville police easier.

“That really saves us from having to go out and knock on doors to see if people have these cameras or security systems if they agree to share it with us,” said Spaulding. “They can automatically share it with us or we can request through the app.”

Neighbors is a smartphone app that allows residents to share videos of suspicious incidents with police and for police to send alerts.
Neighbors is a smartphone app that allows residents to share videos of suspicious incidents with police and for police to send alerts. (Suzanne Baker / Naperville Sun)

The agreement was signed in March, according to Spaulding. They posted an announcement about the app on their Facebook page last week.

“Now we have this Neighbors app, which is a way to communicate about crime and events in our community, as well as, again, the key is the sharing of the video because so many people now have these,” said Spaulding.

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Spaulding hopes that this will help the police department with patrolling within the town limits.

“In a perfect scenario, if we had an incident, we can put out an announcement requesting anybody that’s in that area or even everybody within the whole town. Say we’re looking for a car or looking for suspicious persons that may have approached a residence in the middle of the night, we can put that information out and reach a lot more people," said Spaulding. "One hopes that someone that has the camera system would go back and look and maybe find the vehicle or the persons that we’re looking for, captures them on video, and then be able to automatically share that with us, which would certainly lead to what would be a valuable investigative step that would hopefully lead us to maybe identify someone and be able to place charges.”

Users do not need to have a Ring device in order to get the app and be informed, according to the Facebook post.

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