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The cameras offer a wide view from wherever they are positioned. Ring says it stores the recordings for two months unless they are deleted by users. Many law enforcement agencies nationwide said the idea to partner with Ring came after the company promoted its product at law enforcement conferences. Other agencies agreed to provide subsidies, matched by Ring, to offer hundreds of discounted cameras in hopes of tapping into footage of residential streets, yards and sidewalks.
And some police chiefs raffle off the devices. Ring would not disclose the number of communities with such partnerships.
Federal police raid home of News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst
Sharing video is always voluntary and privacy is protected, according to the company and police. Realistically, though, if police want video for an investigation, they can seek a search warrant. Several other communities in the region also participate in subsidy programs, and officials in Los Angeles County just voted last month to get on board.
If police want a video, they must contact Ring to see if the resident is willing to share, said Jennifer Brutus, senior management analyst for the Arcadia Police Department. In one case, a doorbell camera caught footage of four burglary suspects trying to enter a residence. Three were arrested at the time, but a fourth got away. After the homeowner gave Arcadia detectives some Ring video clips, police identified and arrested the last suspect.
Hammond, Indiana, also put up money to offer Ring cameras at a discount. Steve Kellogg said the partnership was a natural move for a city that already uses cameras to read license plates.
Green Bay, Wisconsin, gets one free camera for every 20 people who sign up for the Ring app through a city link. Initially, police required recipients of those free cameras to agree to provide any video police requested.
It dropped the requirement after The Associated Press began reporting this story.