PITTSBURG — The community can receive real-time, local crime and safety information through the Neighbors mobile application made by the company Ring.

According to a release from the Pittsburg Police Department, Neighbors is a neighborhood watch application which can be downloaded on Apple and Android phones.

People can join their neighborhood and use the app to: monitor neighborhood activity; share crime and safety-related videos, photos and text based posts; and receive real-time safety alerts from your neighbors, local law enforcement and the Ring team, the release said.

“The Pittsburg Police department aims to provide excellent, consistent customer service while fulfilling the traditional law enforcement role of safety and security in the community of Pittsburg, Kansas,” the police department said in a release. “With 52 sworn officers and 27 civilian personnel, the Pittsburg Police Department's goal is to foster mutual trust and encourage everyone to engage in the safety and security of our community.”

The Neighbors network has millions of users and has been instrumental in catching package thieves, stopping burglaries, and keeping neighborhoods safe, the release said.

Deputy Police Chief Tim Tompkins said the phone application is a modern form of neighborhood watch. As part of past neighborhood watches, neighbors would get to know each other and set up “telephone trees” where one neighbor would call a number of neighbors and those neighbors would do the same, Tompkins said.

The mobile application “brings neighborhood watches forward to embrace new technology,” Tompkins said.
“If you see a suspicious person or vehicle you can put that information out in real time,” Tompkins said. “Those in that neighborhood would get those notifications.”

Likewise, if the police department receives a call of suspicious activity they could alert people in that neighborhood, Tomkins said.

Tompkins said one of the crimes which has nationally increased recently was package thieves, also known as porch pirates or porch banding. He said along with the increase with camera surveillance the mobile application can assist in crime prevention. A message alert could help the neighborhood and the police department identify suspects through asking if neighbors happened to capture the thievery on camera.

How it works
• Download the Neighbors app on iOS and Android here: download.ring.com/pittsburg or by texting 'pittsburgpd' to 555888 from your smartphone.
• Opt-in to join your neighborhood.
• Customize the geographic area you want to receive notifications for (users must verify where they are located and cannot participate in other neighborhoods).
• Receive real-time alerts from your neighbors, local law enforcement and the Ring team that inform of crime and safety alerts as they happen.
• View local crime and safety posts via a live feed or interactive map.
• Share text updates, photos and videos taken on any device, including Ring's home security devices.
• Work with your community to make neighborhoods safer.

For more information people can visit www.ring.com/neighbors.