Police use app to deter crime in Johnson County neighborhoods

An app created by Ring allows metro cities to create a virtual ‘crime watch’ by partnering with area police departments.

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- Many of you may have heard of Ring doorbell cameras.

Now, an app created by the company is allowing cities in Johnson Country to create a virtual ‘crime watch’ by partnering with your area police departments.

Those who download the free Neighbors App can monitor neighborhood activity, share crime and safety-related videos and photos and receive safety alerts from neighbors, police and the Ring team.

But, you don’t necessarily need a Ring doorbell camera to use the app to check on suspicious activity or share information with your local police department in the area where you live.

You can upload video from any type of security camera system – it doesn’t necessarily have to be a Ring doorbell camera – it can be any surveillance camera, or even your cell phone.

Shawnee, Olathe, Overland Park and Lenexa police departments are the first cities in Kansas to use the app.

Sgt. Craig Herrmann with the Shawnee Police Department says there are no live feeds, but police can request help from specific areas.

"The police department can request the video and if the device owner wishes to share it, then that can become part of the investigation and hopefully solve those crimes," Herrmann said.

The app doesn’t grant law enforcement access to cameras or user data. Those using the app appear anonymous, and only their content can be seen.

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