Green Bay Police partners with new app for "digital neighborhood watch"

The Green Bay Police Department, seen March 1, 2018. (WLUK)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- The neighborhood watch program is going digital in Green Bay.

A stranger outside Manuel Lopez’s east side home is an example of how the city’s police department would like residents to use the new social networking application, Neighbors.

When something moves outside Lopez's house, security cameras over his garage and on his doorbell send him a message with live video of what is happening. A week ago, at 2:20 in the morning, the camera caught a man trying to open the vehicles in Lopez's driveway.

“Unfortunately because almost every morning, like every midnight, there is a cat walking on my driveway and this time, for the first time I didn't watch it, there's a guy who tried to open our cars,” said Lopez.

Lopez eventually did watch the video, sharing it on Neighbors.

“I put it in public to warn other people what's going on in our city,” said Lopez.

Ring, the company Lopez bought his security cameras from, launched the free Neighbors app in May for anyone to use.

“Anything you can save to your phone can be shared to Neighbors as well,” said Morgan Culbertson, the public relations coordinator for Neighbors.

Green Bay police are one of the first in the state to partner with the Neighbors app.

Captain Jeremy Muraski says other departments who use it have seen a drop in burglaries and thefts.

“For us we thought that alone is a win, but then you factor in the ability for us to interact and engage with the community and it makes it even better,” said Muraski.

The application is a way for Neighbors to promote its products, like video doorbells and regular security cameras.

Muraski says Ring is not paying the department to help promote the app.

“We basically have a mutual agreement that allows them to say they're partnering with us, we're partnering with them,” said Muraski.

Muraski says if enough people download Ring's Neighbors app, the company will give the department security cameras to give to residents who can't afford them.

As for Manuel Lopez, Green Bay police say they haven't been able to find the man who was trying to get into his vehicles.

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