CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — What if you could help your local police department solve criminal investigations? The Ferguson Township Police Department is encouraging the community to help them solve cases including home burglaries and car break-ins, all through an app on your phone.

It’s called “Neighbors“, and it’s a network focused on local safety, where you can share information and learn what’s happening in your neighborhood. It also connects with the “Ring” security app to easily share video footage.

“The message is very simple, if you’re going to commit a crime, there are cameras, there are more and more cameras,” said Sergeant Ryan Hendrick of the Ferguson Township Police Department. “If you commit a crime, you’re going to get caught.” 

Sergeant Hendrick said he is hopeful those cameras will not only help solve crimes, but stop them from happening.

If a crime happens in your neighborhood, the police department will put out a request for residents to submit any video footage they may have showing the scene. They will never have access to your camera, only the select clips you choose to send.

“The big thing about this is, anything we do we’re asking voluntarily, we’re never able to get into their information, we never know if they do have a camera, don’t have a camera, everything we do is voluntary,” said Hendrick.

He said it minimizes the amount of time they’ll spend investigating in the traditional way, by knocking on doors, which is especially helpful when facing a staffing shortage.

“We really appreciate the partnership we have with our community,” said Sergeant Hendrick. “This is just another great way for them to be able to help us and get some bad guys off the street.”