Fresno Chief Paco Balderrama is displeased with Amazon’s announcement that it will no longer accept requests from law enforcement agencies for video from its Ring doorbell products.
Balderamma posted on X that Amazon’s decision is “highly disappointing and detrimental.”
The big picture: Amazon said in a blog post on Wednesday that the Request for Assistance tool will be eliminated.
- That tool allowed law enforcement agencies to submit requests for footage from individual users in their communities through the Neighbors app.
- Three years ago Ring made police requests for user footage public in the Neighbors app. Prior to that law enforcement could message users privately to request video.
- Despite the changes, law enforcement will still be able to obtain footage from Ring doorbells, but will have to do so with a search warrant or subpoena.
What they’re saying: “This is highly disappointing and detrimental to the investigation of violent crimes,” Balderrama said on X.
- He added that the Fresno Police Department depends highly on the cooperation of citizens and companies to help solve crime.
- “What is the point to having technology if police are delayed access to useful videos? Yes, police can still get access through a warrant or subpoena, but that takes time,” Balderrama said. “The key to lower violent crime rates are quick investigations and the apprehension of violent criminals.”
- Fresno City Councilman Mike Karbassi told The Sun that this decision has a negative impact for all of Fresno’s neighborhoods.
- “Customers invest in Ring products because they want safer neighborhoods,” Karbassi said. “Ring has just made them less safe by taking away their ability to voluntarily assist local law enforcement. I strongly urge Ring’s leadership team to meet with law enforcement leaders like Chief Balderrama and reconsider this rash decision.”