Briefing Room: Neighbors and digital canvassing

For the Sun

Hi Seal Beach,

I wanted to use this week’s column to remind the community that the Seal Beach Police Department utilizes the Neighbors app.

In 2020, the SBPD joined the Neighbors app (  Neighbors is a free and simple app that helps community members stay informed of local incidents and share neighborhood safety updates, while keeping their privacy protected. Neighbors brings residents together to have impactful safety conversations and engage with their local public safety agencies on the app in their area to make their neighborhoods safer. The app is available for anyone to use with or without a Ring device.

Having an effective and easy means of hyper-local communication with residents is central to public safety and why the SBPD has decided to join Neighbors in their efforts to serve the community. The SBPD is now even better positioned to notify residents of a nearby safety incident, or share proactive tips and emergency preparedness information ahead of time.

It’s important to note that local public safety officials do not have access to user cameras, live streams or personal information when using Neighbors. When an individual user chooses to post a video or comment on the app, they are identified only as “Neighbor #” and the location of posts are obscured to protect user privacy. Public safety officials are always identified by their last name and agency when using Neighbors and can view and comment as well as share posts to the app in their jurisdiction.

How to Use Neighbors

• Download the Neighbors app: Residents do not need a Ring device to join Neighbors and can text ‘JoinToday’ to 555888 or visit the app store from their smartphone in order to download the Neighbors app for free on iOS, Android and FireOS devices.

• Join Your Neighborhood: Once downloaded, users can join their neighborhood, share crime and safety-related videos, photos and text-based posts; and receive safety alerts and updates from their neighbors, local police and fire departments as well as from the Ring team.

• Customize Alerts: Users can adjust their settings and select the alert categories most relevant to them.

• Join the Conversation: Users decide what content to share and whether or not they wish to engage with other users, including local police and fire departments, on the app.

Why do I bring this up again?  Recently we sent a message to all residents on The Hill using this app, and asked those who had signed up to check their home cameras for potential video evidence related to a felony hit and run.  This “digital neighborhood canvass” helped our investigators quickly get information and videos of a potential suspect fleeing the scene.  Ultimately, If a crime or other incident is captured on video, this will make it easier for the community to share that evidence with our investigators.

To find out more information about this program, visit  We appreciate your partnership.

Keep your questions coming Seal Beach!  Email us at today.