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Sheriff’s office partner with app to help prevent crime

By Heather Graves

BROWN COUNTY – The Brown County Sheriff’s Office has a new tool for tackling crime.

The agency announced a partnership with the Neighbors app by Ring, a home security company, allowing it to provide alerts to communities about local crime and safety incidents in real-time.

Lt. Kevin Pawlak with the Brown County Sheriff’s Office said the app is similar to a neighborhood watch program.

Users can customize the geographic area that they’d like to receive notifications for.

“You get to see what’s happening in your neighborhood,” Pawlak said.

The app allows users to share real-time information with the sheriff’s office and those living in their community.

Through the app, residents are able to update other users if they’ve been the victim or witness of a crime.

Users can upload video from their security systems, cameras or cellphones.

Pawlak said the app also allows the Brown County Sheriff’s Office to request video from users.

“The sheriff’s office can only view content posted by users that they have decided to share with us directly in response to a specific request,” Pawlak said. “The app does not give the sheriff’s office access to cameras or user data.”

All of the tips shared via the app are anonymous unless residents choose to identify themselves.

Users don’t need to have a Ring security system or any other security system to use the app.

Here’s how it works:

  • Users join their neighborhood and share crime and safety videos, photos and information.
  • Residents can get the Neighbors App by texting browncountywi to 555888 or visit download.ring.com/browncounty.
  • The Neighbors app is free on iOS and Android.

Pawlak said the app does not replace 911. If residents see a crime occur, they are encouraged to immediately report the incident directly to law enforcement.

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