Doorbell cameras helping Savannah Police solve neighborhood crimes

ByMariah Congedo|January 27, 2020 at 5:17 PM EST - Updated January 27 at 6:26 PM

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Since the Savannah Police Department partnered with the Ring neighborhood app, they’ve been able to request videos of any crime in local neighborhoods.

“It’s gone very well. We’ve solved a lot of cases, we’ve gotten a lot of good information from law-abiding citizens, from people who want to do good and from people who want to live in their neighborhoods," SPD Neighborhood Resource Center Cpl. Sharif Lockett said.

Police are never able to directly access this video, so they're asking for volunteers in surrounding neighborhoods to give them access when they need it to fight crime.

“Crime has no boundaries at all. What happens in one neighborhood can happen in the next neighborhood over or happen in the neighborhoods down,” Cpl. Lockett said.

For someone like Scott Anderson, who lives in Ardsley Park, releasing footage to the police goes without question.

"Why would I not help my neighbor who suffered a loss? That's the way I look at it. Anything I can do to be helpful,” Anderson said.

Police say they've used this footage for various types of crime.

“Larcenies, aggravated assaults, it’s even assisted in some homicide investigations and robbery investigations,” Cpl. Lockett said.

As part of the neighborhood association, Anderson says he hears a lot of controversy over whether people want to share their footage.

"I understand the concerns that people have that police will overreach, but it's a balancing act, to me personally, that I'd rather them have access to this if it helps them fight crime,” Anderson said.

The footage, in many cases, has proven to be a vital tool for police.

“We’ve gotten suspect descriptions. We’ve put a lot of that on CrimeStoppers. We’ve gotten a lot of valuable tips and have identified people through that," Cpl. Lockett said.

Anderson says he hopes, one day, everyone can have this technology at their homes.

"What can we do to make those kinds of technology available in other neighborhoods so that everybody has access to this technology?” Anderson asked.

Police say several precincts are starting to walk their beats. The officers are required to at least get out of their cars for one hour a day to walk around and build community relationships to further increase safety.

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Photo: WTOC

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