Alpharetta, Johns Creek and Milton Residents Agree to Share Surveillance Data With Police

Alpharetta, GA – Alpharetta has recently joined a growing number of cities that are currently linking their local police departments with residential surveillance systems.

At its November 18th meeting, Alpharetta city council members voted unanimously to permit the Public Safety Department to partner with Ring, a doorbell camera company to request video recorded by homeowner’s cameras within a specific time and area to investigate criminal activity.

Based on the terms of the agreement, police do not receive ongoing or live-video access. Homeowners can decline the police requests which Ring sends via email. City residents must give their approval to allow their Ring Doorbell video to be included in the agreement.

“The big thing is that residents have to sign off on using this, and if they don’t want to be a part of it, they don’t have to.” Public Safety Director John Robison said.

Doorbell camera manufacturer Ring has made the service available to police departments at no cost.

Besides assisting with criminal investigation, Robison said that the new service will allow police, on occasion, to alert users with the Ring app of certain public safety warning, such as an increase in car burglaries in certain areas.

“It can be specific to all Ring users or it can be specific to a certain geographic area or neighborhood,” he said.

On balance, Alpharetta Council Ben Burnett, who has voiced concern over the spread of government surveillance, said that he favors partnerships like the Ring agreement with cities and communities where city residents volunteer to assist Law Enforcement. However, Burnett draws the line when the surveillance stretches beyond the homeowner’s realm.

In another development in government enabled surveillance, the city of Sandy Springs approved the purchase of 99 pricey license plate reader cameras for placement throughout the city.

Law enforcement officials frequently caution that Ring and other similar doorbell cameras are not an end all or a panacea for sound, bullet proof security for your home. Rather for robust security doorbell cameras should be coupled with a professional home security system that will actually notify authorities whenever a burglars or home invader enters your home through a door or window.

For a free, professional custom quote on a professionally installed home security system call American Guardian at (770) 446-9577. American Guardian offers superior products with month to month monitoring starting as low as $14.95 monthly. American Guardian also installs a variety of doorbell cameras, including the Ring doorbell camera at very reasonable prices.

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