The Corvallis Police Department will soon be supporting the Neighbors app – a service created by the security camera company Ring that is free on most app stores. Users can post photos, videos and text relating to everything from a crime in progress to an accident to a lost pet, which can be viewed by anyone who has the app, including CPD.
The app finds a user’s address on the map and draws a perimeter around it. If another user posts a message about an emergency happening inside that circle, the app signals the area about a possible danger. While almost anything relating to crime or safety is permitted on the app, Ring notes that it has a policy against discrimination and bullying, and users are invited to flag any content they consider inappropriate for review.
Police can use Neighbors to contact people and request photos or video, and to notify the public about dangerous incidents ranging from broken glass on the roadway to a wildfire burning toward their home.
Some have expressed concern about the effect police involvement in the Neighbors app could have on so-called neighborliness. CPD told KVAL it hopes the app will help with gathering evidence when crimes are committed.
By John M. Burt