Longport Questions Atlantic County Sheriff’s RING Video Doorbell Program

Longport PD

Longport Police Chief, Frank Culmone, shared a letter with the community on Aug 10th. Chief Culmone not happy with the Atlantic County Sheriff’s RING video doorbell program. The letter is as follows.

Dear Residents of Longport,

This morning I was informed of an initiative launched by the Atlantic County Sheriff, Eric Scheffler in conjunction with, and through Ring Doorbell.

The information that I received DID NOT come from the sheriffs office directly. This program is asking Atlantic County Residents to register their Ring Doorbells through an App called “Neighbors by Ring.” From there, the Sheriff’s Office will be responsible for reporting suspicious activity to those in the group.

This initiative only complicates the reporting of a crime or serious activity by delaying the reporting directly to the Longport Police Department.

Longport Police Chief, Frank Culmone

Longport Police Chief, Frank Culmone

Essentially, the Atlantic County Sheriffs Office would notify the Longport Police Department (3rd party) of suspicious activity or, Sheriff Scheffler is launching a program where his department would be investigating these activities through the Mays Landing Office.

There has been no direct communication with this department or any other department directly from the Sheriffs Office.

In 2019, the Longport Police Department launched a camera registration program of its own designed to deter crime and promote public safety through collaboration between our agency and the residents of Longport.

Our program allows residents to register the locations of their video surveillance systems without providing our agency with direct access to any real time footage.

When a crime occurs, this initiative will allow police the ability to quickly identify the locations of nearby cameras, enlist the assistance of the community to collect video evidence, follow up on leads, and potentially aid in the apprehension of suspect(s) responsible for the crime under investigation.

This saves officers valuable time which they would otherwise spend going door-to-door attempting to locate security footage that could help identify a potential suspect.

Longport Police Chief, Frank Culmone

BACKGROUND: The doorbell-camera company Ring has forged video-sharing partnerships with a number of police forces across the United States, granting them potential access to homeowners’ camera footage and a powerful role in what the company calls the nation’s “new neighborhood watch.” (Washington Post)

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