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Local News

Video doorbells help Joliet police find suspects

New home video systems assist local law enforcement in solving cases

Joliet-area residents now have an opportunity to help local law enforcement solve crimes – with their doorbells.

Ring is a company that creates home security products. The Ring Video Doorbell is made to be installed into an already existing doorbell, and, when synced with an app, detects and alerts of motion to the owner’s phone. The doorbell also records that motion, capturing videos of what is happening outside.

“We’re always looking for ways to sit and reach out to the community and solve these crimes,” Joliet police Sgt. Christopher Botzum said.

The Ring Neighbors app also supplies real-time crime information, safety alerts and videos from others who own upload footage from their devices.

The app can be used independently or alongside a Ring product. Because of this, police departments have started to use the app to monitor areas.

Within and around the Joliet area, residents use the products and app in their own day-to-day lives to see everything from packages being delivered to people walking up to their homes.

“I like that I get alerts and can see who comes up,” Joliet resident Jennifer Burt said.

She said it gives her peace of mind.

To monitor neighborhood alerts, the Joliet Police Department went live with Ring on April 8. This means it joined the Neighbors app to monitor it and see what is posted, Botzum said. The department can then reach out to members of the app and request footage from a certain time and place.

“Neighbors can upload footage without using their names and exact address,” he added. “They don’t have to put their public information out there.”

Locally, Ring already has been used to help find burglary suspects, information for shootings and to put out requests for information, Botzum said.

Police monitor the app once a day to see what is posted, he said.

Ring representatives also reach out to police departments to help make communities more engaged.

The Will County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division also went live with Ring on June 11, and the sheriff’s office went live June 18, beginning their partnerships with the home security company.

The use and engagement grows over time, Botzum said. The Joliet Police Department plans to push out its partnership with the app more in the fall to make the community safer and more involved.

Nest and ADT have similar products.

To download the free Neighbors or Ring app, text “jolietpd” to 555888.

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