Norfolk Police hope to cut crime with this new community app

NORFOLK — Police here said they will be partnering with the program “Neighbors” by Ring in an effort to get the community engaged in solving and preventing crime.

Norfolk Police will be the first law enforcement agency in the state to join the Neighbors app by Ring.

Ring had approached police Chief Larry Boone’s office with the app and seeing the value of the program and its ability to get neighbors talking to each other about their crime-related concerns, NPD agreed to work with them, said police spokesman Cpl. William Pickering.

How the App works

The way the app works is simple: residents download the Neighbors app by Ring, they make a profile and are placed by their address which is then organized by neighborhood.

From there, the app will ask them to set a “Geo-Fence” which will set a geographic area for the alerts they wish to receive.

Once set up on the app, residents in Norfolk will be able to anonymously post crime-related information, photos and videos for other neighbors in that neighborhood to see, Pickering said.

The NPD will have access to the different Norfolk neighborhoods through the Neighbors Portal that Ring created for police, Pickering said.

He said the department is very excited about the app because it allows them to keep track of what crimes/suspicious activities are being reported where in their precincts and sectors.

Ring set up the portal so the officers can look by sector, by precinct or at the whole city, he said.

NPD will only have access to neighborhoods within Norfolk’s city boundaries.

So far there are more than 1,000 users in Norfolk already using the app through either their smartphones or Ring devices so Pickering feels confident the program will continue to grow with the addition of the police department’s portal.

As of right now the community affairs section of NPD and detectives have been trained to use the app, next will be the community resource officers, he said.

Community resource officers will start their day by checking out the app to see what’s happening in their precincts/sectors.

Everything that residents report or comment on will be completely anonymous — when officers comment, however, they will be labeled either by the officers’ name or it will say that the NPD has responded to a comment, Pickering said.

“We can see the information in real-time,” Pickering added.

To learn more about Ring, click here.

To download the Neighbors app, click here.

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