Akron considering paying for and installing ring cameras in neighborhoods with the highest crime rates

Updated: Oct. 7, 2020 at 10:29 PM EDT
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AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - You see it more and more, police using doorbell cameras to solve crimes. It’s a new age crime-fighting technique and it is catching the attention of city leaders in Akron.

“Number one it’s gonna work as a deterrent,” explained Margo Sommerville, President of Akron City Council. “Maybe having individuals who normally go into these neighborhoods to start crime or to do things they really have no business doing maybe they’ll think secondly about that, right because again there’s cameras watching 24/7.”

Sommerville said the city is in the process of looking at vendors and statistics to determine which neighborhoods need the cameras the most.

“Another thing is that it allows residents an opportunity to really take back their neighborhoods,” Sommeville said. “It also provides residents the ability to feel a little bit safer inside of their homes as well.”

In exchange for the cameras paid for and installed by the city, residents would be required to hand video footage over to police if a crime occurs on their block.

“Well the thing about it is and what we’re doing is we’re kind of working through that right,” said Sommerville. “The most important thing is that we want to be able to protect residents' rights. We don’t want to infringe upon a citizen’s rights. We’re not interested in terms of who’s coming to visit them or what they might be doing on their property in their front yard. The only thing that we really wanna do is when crime happens in their neighborhood that they release that footage to the police so we can help solve crimes.”

Sommerville said as council president she regularly receives ring videos from residents that she forwards to police, but through this partnership, neighbors could do that themselves.

“They can simply send video footage to the police,” explained Sommerville. “They don’t have to have their name attached at all so in a safe comfortable way to help solve a lot of these crimes.”

The city is still figuring out what the project will cost and where the money will come from, but it’s something they believe is a worthwhile investment. Sommerville says at this point they do not have an exact timeline for when these doorbell cameras would be installed.

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