News - Kane County

Batavia Police Department joins Neighbors app to improve community safety

Batavia City Hall

The Batavia Police Department has joined Neighbors by Ring, an app that gives real-time crime and safety alerts from residents and public safety agencies.

According to a news release from the city on July 11, anyone with a smartphone can download the app to receive updates and have the option to post photos or videos from any device. Participants do not need a Ring device at their homes to join.

The St. Charles Police Department has used the Neighbors app since 2019, while the Geneva Police Department does not currently use it.

Neighbors allows members of the community share photos, videos and information related to local crime and safety incidents so fellow residents can stay informed, Public Information Officer Sgt. Michelle Langston said.

“It’s really great, now that we are on Neighbors, we can see the videos that are posted and we can say ‘Hey, this would be really helpful in our investigation, would you mind sharing it with us’,” she said. “We don’t have access to their cameras or their accounts or anything like that.”

Langston added that nobody has names on the app and everything is anonymous.

“It makes it easier for people to be able to share information with us, share video with us and hopefully solve crimes,” she said. “It’s not just for crime, it’s great for missing kids, missing adults and just getting the word out. It’s a fantastic program for that. We’ve posted several things about road closures, suspicious people, there’s all kinds of stuff we can do with it.”

She also added that if someone shares a video with them that does not have a Ring device or the Neighbors app, the department can then post it on the app to gain additional views.

An increase in crime has nothing to do with the reason the department decided to join Neighbors, Langston said.

“If anything we are seeing an uptick in people willing to help. It’s a great tool,” she said.

According to Neighbors by Ring community guidelines, all posts and comments to Neighbors are reviewed by Neighbors moderators before they are published, to ensure compliance with community guidelines.

For more information about the program and how the Neighbors app by Ring works to help against crime, safety, lost and found, and public safety, or how to download the app, visit https://ring.com/neighbors.