What is a Request for Assistance post?
‘Request for Assistance’ is a post category within Neighbors that enables public safety agencies to ask the public for help with an active investigation.
What is the difference between Request for Assistance posts and posts in other categories?
There are a couple of important differences between Request for Assistance posts and other post categories on Neighbors. First, only public safety agency users can create a Request for Assistance post. Second, Request for Assistance posts contain the contact information for the public safety user conducting the investigation, as well as a link that allows Ring customers to securely and privately share their Ring videos with the public safety agency.
Public safety agencies may make a Request for Assistance post on Neighbors asking their community to assist with an investigation. Like any other post on Neighbors, we designed Request for Assistance posts to keep users in control and protect their privacy. Specifically:
- Public safety agencies never have direct access to users’ Ring devices, videos, or Neighbors accounts. Public safety agencies cannot view a user’s videos unless that user chooses to share them publicly on Neighbors or directly with the public safety agency in response to a Request for Assistance post.
- When a public safety agency submits a Request for Assistance post, Ring does not share user information with public agencies without the user’s express consent.
- Users decide if they want to share any of their personal information, including videos, with public safety agencies in response to a Request for Assistance post.
- Users are in complete control of how, when, and if they receive notifications for Request for Assistance posts. Users may update their settings through Control Center, including opting out of seeing Request for Assistance posts within Neighbors.
- Responding to a Request for Assistance post is entirely optional. Public agencies cannot see which users, if any, viewed a Request for Assistance post unless the user chooses to share video or information in response.
Request for Assistance Post Policy
All Request for Assistance posts are reviewed and moderated by the Ring team. Public safety agencies must agree to the following additional guidelines prior to creating a Request for Assistance post:
- Request for Assistance posts are published publicly to Neighbors.
- Request for Assistance posts may not be used:
- to intentionally gather information about lawful activities, such as protests.
- for general announcements, public service announcements or events.
- Request for Assistance posts must contain:
- information referencing an active investigation, specifically, the type of incident being investigated.
- a valid agency reference number for an active investigation.
- public agency user contact information including an email address or phone number.
- relevant date/time range for the information sought. The date/time range of the request must be at least 15 minutes and cannot exceed 12 hours. (Individual Ring videos typically do not exceed one minute in length, and only Ring videos selected by the user captured during the requested time frame will be shared).
- the geographic area, based on the incident location, in which the information is sought. The geographic area must be at least 0.025 square miles and cannot exceed 0.5 square miles.
- Request for Assistance posts may not contain:
- hate speech, racial profiling or other forms of prejudice.
- content which would harass, threaten, intimidate or incite violence.
- personally identifiable information of crime victims, including victims of sexual assault or domestic violence. Missing or abducted persons may be identified if the information may assist in locating or recovering the victim.
- language which appears to threaten or pressure customers to provide information.
- Request for Assistance posts are limited to two (2) posts per incident/case.
- Once published by a public agency user, the user may not edit or delete a Request for Assistance post.
Violation of this policy may result in temporarily suspending or permanently banning any user or agency. Please visit our Terms of Service for more information.
Why did I receive a notification of a Request for Assistance post?
When publishing a Request for Assistance post, local public safety agencies must define a specific area that might be relevant to an investigation. Depending on your notification settings, you might receive a notification of a Request for Assistance post if your Ring device(s) or Neighbors location is within the specific area.
Do I have to respond to a Request for Assistance post?
No, responding to a Request for Assistance post is entirely voluntary. Request for Assistance posts are designed to ensure that local public safety agencies cannot see your name, contact information, location, video recordings, or whether you received a notification for a post, unless you explicitly consent to sharing that information or video recording in response to a Request for Assistance post.
How can I share my Ring video in response to a Request for Assistance post?
Ring customers within the specified area may share their Ring videos in response to a Request for Assistance post. Within a Request for Assistance post, click the button “Click here to help”, select the option “Review Your Ring Videos''. Here you will be able to review and select the Ring videos you would like to share. Before you can complete sharing of any video, you must explicitly agree to share the videos you selected, the location address(es) of your Ring device(s) associated with the video(s) you have selected to share, and your email address in order for the public safety agency to contact you with any questions.
If you have Ring videos that you believe that could be helpful with the investigation but you are not located within the specified area, you can share your Ring videos by contacting the public safety agency directly and reference the agency reference number included in the post.
If I share a video with a local public safety agency in response to a Request for Assistance post, what will they do with the video?
If you decide to share videos with public safety agencies through Neighbors, the requesting public safety user may view or download those videos for a period of 30 days. If the public safety user downloads the video, retention and use of the video is subject to public safety procedures and applicable law. If you have questions or concerns about how the requesting public safety user will use any video you might share, you should contact the user, and include the agency reference number that is in the post.
If I share my video recordings through Neighbors in response to a Request for Assistance post, what information will public safety agencies receive?
Request for Assistance posts are designed to ensure that local public safety agencies cannot see your name, contact information, location, video recordings, or whether you received a notification of the post unless you share that information or video recording in response to a Request for Assistance post. Should you choose to share your recordings through Neighbors, the recordings you chose to share, your street address (the address associated with your Ring device), and the email address associated with your account will be shared with the local public safety user who requested the recordings. Your local public safety agency might use the provided personal information to reach out to you about a case.
How can I opt-out of receiving notifications for Request for Assistance posts and/or opt-out of seeing Request for Assistance posts within Neighbors?
You are in complete control of how, when, and if you receive notifications for Request for Assistance posts. You may update your settings through Control Center, including opting out of seeing Request for Assistance posts within Neighbors.
If I have questions about a specific Request for Assistance post, who should I contact?
If you want to know more about a specific incident or have additional information to share in response to a Request for Assistance post, we recommend you reach out to the local public safety agency listed in the Request for Assistance post.