Date: Friday, September 16, 2022
WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. – To help local law enforcement solve crimes and give homeowners an added sense of security, Winnebago County will allocate $130,000 of its American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to purchasing Ring Video Doorbell cameras for eligible residents in the county.
Last year, Winnebago County received ARP dollars to assist in combatting the effects of the pandemic. The County Board determined that $1 million should be used for board member initiatives directed toward recovery efforts throughout Winnebago County. Each board member received $50,000 for their respective districts. As a way to reduce crime in Winnebago County, Board members Burt Gerl (R- District 15), Joe Hoffman (D-District 10), Kevin McCarthy (R-District 11) and Brad Lindmark (R-District 4) pledged to allocate a portion of their funding to establishing a Ring Doorbell Safety Initiative, giving away free video doorbells to community members.
“Our main goal is to prevent future crimes, but also give residents an improved sense of personal security and neighborhood safety,” said Burt Gerl, Chairman of the Public Safety Committee.
More than 600 doorbells will be available to residents on a limited first-come, first-served basis. The doorbell registration comes with a free Neighbors by Ring app, which allows users to discuss crime and public safety issues and share videos on the platform. Doorbell recipients must also agree to share their recorded video footage with the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office.
“This partnership will allow law enforcement to better protect our neighborhoods and also aid in prosecuting criminal activity in Winnebago County,” said Marlana Dokken, Director of the Chairman’s Office of Criminal Justice Initiatives.
Currently, the program is only available to residents who live in one of the four (4) Winnebago County Board Districts whose Board member chose to allocate their ARP funding to the Ring Doorbell Video Program. Funding for additional districts is actively being pursued. ARP funds will be used to purchase a battery-operated camera doorbell and a one (1) year video storage subscription. Those who opt-in will agree to independently cover future subscription fees ($39.99/annually).
“Collaboration between residents and law enforcement is imperative to the success of this program,” said Winnebago County Board Chairman Joseph Chiarelli. “I encourage all eligible residents to take advantage of this opportunity available to them.”
To determine eligibility, refer to the District map or look for the Ring logo next to your County Board member. Please refer to the Winnebago County Ring Video Doorbell Registration and Agreement to register and learn more about the program.
For interested residents in Districts 15, 11, 10 and 4, an informational meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 20 at 6 p.m. at Broadway Covenant Church, 3525 Broadway in Rockford. The meeting is open to the public and will be led by the County Board members as well as the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office to discuss the program and answer any questions.
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