Portsmouth residents sign up to receive free doorbell cameras to help police fight crime

Posted at 10:18 PM, Aug 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-04 22:18:17-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - A new initiative to help fight crime in Portsmouth. Portsmouth Police will soon be handing out doorbell camera's to some Portsmouth residents. Residents signed up in a lottery to receive the Blink doorbell cameras.

Heavy rain did not stop Portsmouth Police from signing people up in a lottery to receive doorbell cameras. Residents filled out forms, eager to have a chance to get a free a doorbell camera.

"I do believe the doorbell camera is a way to reduce crime in just someone tries to break into one of my neighbor’s cars or any crime that occurs," Clarissa Bass said.

Bass says she plans to register her doorbell camera with the police if she receives it.

"I will be able to assist police officers with video footage," Bass said.

When a resident gets the doorbell camera, it is up to the resident to give police access to the camera.

"It is purely voluntary. Just because they get a camera from us does not give us immediate access to that camera. They still have the right to say no," Interim Police Chief Stephen Jenkins tells News 3's Leondra Head.

It’s not mandatory for the resident to register the camera with the police.

"We would love for folks to register those cameras with us," Jenkins said.

Jenkins says his goal for the doorbell cameras is to help solve crime and deter crime from the area.

"We’re hoping it will capture vehicles or a suspect or a clothing description or something that can help us give us a lead."

Jenkins says police currently have less than 500 cameras and are looking to get more to give to residents.

"Every camera that we have an opportunity to put in the community is going to benefit us going forward," Jenkins said.

Police say they’ve received hundreds of calls from people interested in the lottery. Portsmouth residents can call to inquire about a doorbell camera at 757–393–8092; Ext: 7167