• St. Johns deputies taking neighborhood watch digital with Ring app

    By: Ryan Nelson , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is turning to a home security company to change the way neighborhood watch programs operate and crack down on crime.

    The Neighbors by Ring app allows you to share videos, pictures and crime and safety information with your neighbors and local law enforcement. It’s free for anyone to use, and a Ring doorbell is not required.


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    Deputies say you’ll get information in real time, and they’ll have immediate access to it.

    Daniel Liebowitz says he likes the idea.

    “I live in a condo down the street,” he said. “And I would definitely like to know what’s going on or if something’s happening.”

    St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Chuck Mulligan tells Action News Jax's Ryan Nelson the app gives neighbors an easy and direct way to share information with law enforcement and the people around them.

    Mulligan tells Nelson it could even limit the time deputies spend canvassing as they investigate crimes.

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    Some neighbors tell Nelson off-camera they fear the app could open the door for public shaming or false allegations.

    Mulligan says this may be possible, but the Sheriff’s Office believes the app will do good in the community.

    He says posts are vetted by investigators, and users have the option to share publicly or directly with deputies.

    “I think people just always have to be smart,” said Liebowitz. “And you just don’t put things up that could come back to bite you.”

    Deputies will host meetings around the county over the next few weeks to answer any questions you may have and to register homeowner associations to receive new neighborhood watch signs for their neighborhoods.

    Meetings are as follows:  

    • April 10, 2019 at Ponte Vedra Concert Hall from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
    • April 16, 2019 at Fruit Cove Baptist Church from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
    • April 23, 2019 at Turning Point Church from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
    • May 1, 2019 at Riverview Club at The Shores from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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