'Ring' doorbell video now helps 15 Minnesota law enforcement agencies fight crime
Ring, an Amazon-owned company, has now partnered with 15 Minnesota law enforcement agencies to help fight neighborhood crime.
If a crime has been committed in the jurisdiction of those 15 law enforcement agencies, Ring contacts its customers in that area and asks permission to forward any video that might have captured usable video evidence of the crime.
Once a customer approves dissemination of the video to law enforcement, Ring forwards the footage to the requesting agency and investigators can then peruse the images to see if there is anything useful for their cases.
Edina is one of the latest Minnesota law enforcement agencies to partner with Ring. Edina Police Department Crime Analyst Joel Bonstrom told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS it is just another tool to help investigators gather evidence as quickly and efficiently as possible.
"This is something that is very helpful to us and it helps neighborhoods," Bonstrom said. "If someone gives Ring the OK to use the video, it does save us the time of having to draw up a warrant, get it approved, and then gather the evidence."
William McGeveren, associate dean at the University of Minnesota Law School, told KSTP there is no law preventing Ring from handing over any video it wants to law enforcement, but by seeking their customers' approval on the front end, the company gains trust.
"These companies like Ring are going to get their customers to agree to give up their video," McGeveren said. "But that is not a matter of the law, that's a matter of the company having good business relations."