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Bartlesville police, community group partner for neighborhood safety initiative

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Posted at 9:24 PM, Jan 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-26 08:48:28-05

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. — The Bartlesville Police Department is hoping to make the community a safer place through a new program with the Washington County Community Council.

The two are working together on an initiative called "Don’t Fall Asleep at the Wheel.”

The community council plans to give Ring cameras to citizens who may not be able to afford them with the goal of reporting crimes and protecting their neighbors.

“We as police officers and investigators, you know, just about every crime we go on involve some sort of camera," said Bartlesville Police Captain Jay Hastings.

Capt. Hastings said these cameras will help the department when gathering details for crimes such as break-ins and burglaries.

John Werts, director of the Washington County Community Council, said they hope to have some in high crime areas.

“It doesn’t necessarily have to be major crimes," Werts said. "It can be a traffic offense if someone is running a stop sign in their particular neighborhood. We can do something with the city to put a speed hump in there. It can be even the smallest crimes.”

Some in the community raised concerns about privacy issues with the cameras. Capt. Hastings said the police department wouldn’t have access to any of the video unless the homeowner shared it with them.

“It’s going to be completely their system," Capt. Hastings said. "They’re going to have access to it. We’re only going to ask that if there is a crime occurring in your neighborhood, you would help us and provide that information.”

The community council purchased 15 Ring cameras so far thanks to donations. Werts said they hope to eventually have 500 around Bartlesville and expand into other parts of Washington County.

It’s part of their mission to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community.

“Basically, take care of your neighbor," Werts said. "We hope this will help take care of each other.”

“That’s an important partnership and trust," Capt. Hastings said. "The community needs to know that it can trust the police department. And by working together we can make our community safer and better places to live and raise your family.”

To get one of these cameras you must have internet and be able to provide how long you’ve lived in your home. Someone will install it for you. You’ll get reimbursed for the yearly subscription fee.

If you’re interested, you can fill out an application and send it to the Washington County Community Council. You can find the application and their info here.

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