Chicago Police DepartmentDepartment Notice DN 20-05
RING Neighbors for Law Enforcement Portal Pilot Program
Issue Date:01 October 2020Effective Date:01 October 2020
Rescinds:
Index Category:Department Notice
I.Purpose
This directive:
  • A.introduces the RING Neighbors for Law Enforcement Portal Pilot Program for the 012th and 022nd Districts.
  • B.establishes the policies and procedures for the Department's participation in the RING Neighbors for Law Enforcement Portal.
  • C.announces the Departments partnership with the RING Neighbors for Law Enforcement Portal.
  • D.informs Department members of the availability of the RING Neighbors for Law Enforcement Portal.
II.Definitions
  • A.RING Video Doorbell—A commercially available video camera and doorbell video camera system.
  • B.Neighbors Feed (Neighbors by RING)—A commercially available, free to use, software application. You do not need to own a RING product for access. Subscribers to the Neighbors by Ring App get real-time crime and safety alerts from participating neighbors and local law enforcement. Public posts are vetted by RING to include only those concerning crime and safety.
  • C.RING Neighbors for Law Enforcement Portal—A portal in which law enforcement officials can communicate via the Neighbors APP (Neighbors feed) to communicate with citizens about crime and safety issues. The posts originate from an official law enforcement account. Designated Department members also use this portal to request RING users to share video footage. The footage requests are then correlated by a records division number.
  • D.District Technology Officer (DTO)—A police officer assigned to the district who has been previously trained or has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to recover video surveillance evidence.
  • E.District Intelligence Officer (DIO)—A police officer assigned to the district who supports district law enforcement operations conducted within the district that involve gang conflicts, potential gang retaliation, and any other relevant information, in accordance with the Department directive titled "District Intelligence Officer."
III.General Information
The Neighbors by RING Application partners with local law enforcement to share official, important crime and safety updates in real time. The Neighbors by RING Application uses security products to create a geographical radius around users' homes. If a participant shares an alert on the application about a crime or safety issue within that radius, other users in that radius will receive a notification on their electronic devices (e.g. cellular phone, tablet) via the Neighbors by RING Application. A participant may comment on these alerts to provide additional information about local issues, give tips to avoid affected areas, and share photos or videos. These messages and videos can be very helpful in cooperation with the community and the Chicago Police Department. Certain Department members may request a user share videos with the intent to solve crimes. RING users must authorize the sharing of photo and video footage with the Chicago Police Department.
IV.Policy
  • A.All data requests must have a legitimate law enforcement purpose.
  • B.Department members must enter a valid Records Division (RD) number in the appropriate information field on the RING Neighbors for Law Enforcement Portal homepage.
  • C.Department members will be allowed to make individual in-person requests from RING users.
  • D.Pictures and videos that have evidentiary value will be inventoried in accordance with the Department directive titled “Processing Property Under Department Control.”
  • E.Department members that create an account used to access the RING Neighbors for Law Enforcement Portal Application will request permission via a To-From-Subject Report through their chain of command to the Chief, Bureau of Detectives.
  • F.Approved Department members will not give account user names, passwords, or any other pertinent information to unauthorized persons.
  • G.Unauthorized dissemination of any digitally recorded data is strictly prohibited.
    :
    Department members will adhere to the policies set forth in accordance with the Department directives titled "Access to Computerized Data, Dissemination and Retention of Data," "Use of Social Media Outlets," and "Use of the Internet."
V.Procedures
  • A.When preliminary investigating officers determine that Neighbors by Ring application photographic or video evidence exists, they will:
    • 1.include the information in the Case-Incident Reporting Application (Case-Incident) report, or prepare a Supplementary Report (CPD-63.461A or B) informing follow-up investigators that digital data is available; and
    • 2.notify the district technology officer (DTO) and the district-assigned detectives, in the district of occurrence, of the availability of possible video surveillance evidence.
      NOTE:
      Notification will be recorded in the Case-Incident Reporting Application (Case-Incident) report or Supplementary Report (CPD-63.461A or B).
  • B.District-level access
    • 1.Strategic Decision Support Centers (SDSC) and Community Policing personnel will have Neighbors text messaging access only.
    • 2.DIOs will have access to Neighbors text messaging and the ability to request video footage only after consulting with the detective assigned to the case.
      NOTE:
      The DIO will consult with the detective assigned to the case before requesting RING video footage.
    • 3.Property Crimes Section detectives and district technology officers (DTO) will have access to both Neighbors text messaging and video footage.
  • C.Area-level access
    • 1.Area Technology Center (ATC) members will:
      • a.have access to all cases and provide assistance to the districts, if needed;
      • b.have the capabilities of further forensic processing on downloaded video footage (e.g., removing or adding wide panoramic image, hemispherical image, fisheye);
      • c.ensure the video evidence is received by the correct parties; and
      • d.ensure the video evidence is received by the assigned investigator.
  • D.The sharing of videos by RING users with law enforcement is a voluntary decision. If a user does not comply with a request, the assigned detective may submit a legal request to RING in order to compel the owner.
  • E.Communications Division personnel have the ability to send out messages to the larger Neighbors Feed (Neighbors by RING) audience and will only have access to the RING Neighbors for Law Enforcement Portal text messages.
VI.Training
The Bureau of Detectives will coordinate initial and further training with RING in accordance with the Department directive titled "Department Training Records Maintenance Program."
VII.Program Evaluation
The RING Neighbors for Law Enforcement Portal Pilot Program will be subject to review by the Chief, Bureau of Detectives, on a quarterly basis to determine operational effectiveness.
David O. Brown
Superintendent of Police
20-044 JAB/MJC