Police Partner With App To Increase Safety, Reduce Crime

[Left to right] Toms River Police Captain Michael Belcher, Toms River Police Detective Mark Bajada (Creator of Operation Watchdog), Ring’s Bradley Wentlandt, and Toms River Police Sergeant Gene Bachonski (Photo courtesy Toms River Township Police)

  TOMS RIVER – Toms River Police are taking another step towards fighting crime by partnering with “Neighbors,” a free crime and safety app.

  The Neighbors app, created by the Santa Monica based company Ring, provides a platform for anyone to share and receive photos, videos and real-time crime and safety information with their neighbors and local law enforcement. The app is useful to all, whether you own a Ring device or other home security system or not, said police.

  While separate from the Toms River Police Department’s Operation WatchDog, which has locals register their own security systems with the police, the Neighbors app serves a similar purpose for the safety of the community.

  “As we continue to move forward in this fast moving technology culture, law enforcement as a whole needs to embrace every opportunity afforded to them to stay resourceful in combating criminal activity within our communities in real time,” said Detective Mark Bajada, Toms River Police Department Operation WatchDog coordinator. “The Toms River Police Department is excited to be the first police agency in New Jersey to partner with Ring, to further enhance the working relationship in crime prevention and detection with our community through their (Ring) Neighbors app.”

  What is unique about the Neighbors app is that it creates a reciprocal connection between residents and local law enforcement in real time. The app is free and can be downloaded via iOS and Android at download.ring.com/tomsriverpd.

  In addition to Operation WatchDog, Neighbors will help the Toms River Police to “have a greater footprint of potential video owners as well as a proactive approach to effectively communicate with our residents that will only enhance a stronger community partnership,” according to the department.

  “We’re excited to have the Toms River Police Department join Neighbors to keep their community up-to-date on local crime and safety information. Over the past few years we have learned that, when neighbors, the Ring team and law enforcement all work together, we can create safer communities,” stated Jamie Siminoff, Chief Inventor and Founder of Ring.

  “This partnership, along with the creation of our Operation WatchDog initiative, will further open the lines of communication with the residents of Toms River creating a more proactive approach to solving crime,” said Toms River Police Chief Mitchell Little. “It will also help deter criminal activity in our neighborhoods as it is essentially a digital Neighborhood Watch.  As a police department we aspire to always work hand-in-hand with our residents to keep Toms River a safe place to live. Partnering with Ring opens that optional line of communication between us and our community.”

  For more information or to register for Operation WatchDog, visit trpolice.org. To join the Toms River digital Neighborhood Watch, text tomsrivernj to 555888.