In some ways, social media and technology are the future of home and neighborhood security.
In March, Williamsburg Police said the department was in talks with Ring to form a partnership.
Now, about two months later, that partnership has come to fruition.
On Wednesday, Williamsburg Police announced a new partnership with the free Neighbors app, offered by a company called Ring.
They are the first department in the Historic Triangle to use the app.
The app allows residents to access real-time crime and safety information for their neighborhood, as well as anonymously post crime-related information and photos and videos.
“This is a great opportunity for Williamsburg,” Police Chief Sean Dunn said in a prepared statement. “There is already a high level of engagement and support between our officers and our community. The Neighbors app provides our police department another technology tool to combat local crime and thereby maximizes the safety of our community.”
To use the app, residents must download Neighbors by Ring and make a profile with their home address. They can then set up a “geofence,” which creates a geographic area for which the app user will receive notifications.
“The Neighbors network already has millions of users and has been instrumental in catching package thieves, stopping burglaries, and keeping neighborhoods safe,” police wrote in the news release.
While the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office has not partnered with Neighbors, the department has its own app used for submitting crime tips, requesting vacation house checks, filing traffic complaints and learning more about the sheriff’s office operations.
James City County also does not use the Neighbors app, but that could change in the future, a police spokeswoman told WYDaily in March.
In the event of a real emergency, all three Historic Triangle law enforcement agencies say the best way to contact the police is to call 911.