The city of Peoria is partnering with Amazon’s Ring to distribute doorbell cameras at a steep discount.
Residents of Peoria will be eligible for a $100 discount on a camera subsidized by the city and Ring at a November 2 event at Northwoods Mall.
Assistant City Manager Deborah Roethler says the cameras help reduce property crimes.
“We’ve got example after example of people walking up to a door, they clearly shouldn’t be there, they look at the video camera that’s staring at them, and then they walk away," she said.
Peoria police reported between 4,500 and 5,100 property crimes a year between 2013 and 2018.
Some civil rights groups have raised concerns about the rapid expansion of Ring partnerships with local police departments, and Amazon’s usage of the camera footage to test facial recognition software.
But Kevin Evans, the senior economic engagement specialist with the city of Peoria, said this isn’t a police department initiative.
“This is not about registering your Ring product with the police department. This is empowering citizens to give them some additional tools to reduce crime in their area," he said. "Or if they just want to use it as a social tool.”
Ring said that law enforcement officials must request doorbell video, and users have the option to decline.
The subsidy program runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov. 2. Residents must present valid ID and a utility bill to prove they are residents. 1,000 discounts are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Peoria City Council approved the city's agreement with Ring this summer.