North County police chief calls doorbell cameras "awesome," gives away 50

Homeowners hope cameras bring more peace of mind

Michael Calhoun - KMOX

An idea to cut down on crime is focused on the front door.
KMOX's Michael Calhoun was there as 50 residents from Vinita Park, Wellston, and Pine Lawn were given free Ring doorbell cameras:

Vinita Park resident Marcieta Reed says it'll give her some extra peace-of-mind, even though she describes her street as quiet.

"I'm excited because we have neighborhood watch, and they were talking about getting cameras so we can stop crime. Be aware of what's happening," she said. "Help our neighbors out."

Winners were chosen by lottery after submitting applications.

The doorbells give residents a live video feed of their front stoop and also record any motion. They can then share footage with neighbors or police.

The organization Beyond Housing put up $5,000 to purchase the devices. CEO Chris Krehmeyer says a discount was arranged with Ring. But he adds that he only sees them as a short-term patch.

So what's a more sustainable solution to stemming crime?

"Let's make our neighborhoods better. Let's make sure every child has a great school to go to, a great pre-K to go. Make sure every neighborhood has grocery stores," he told KMOX News.

North County Police Cooperative Chief John Buchannan called the cameras "awesome" when asked if any already out there had helped solve a crime.

In December, cars were being stolen as people left them running to warm up. Buchannan says doorbell footage helped them identify and arrest suspects.

"That's what made us come up with this idea," he said. "I'm really excited."