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Are Ring Cameras Monitored By Police?

Last Updated Nov 16, 2022
A police officer responding to a call

Ring Cameras are owned and operated by Amazon. They are one of, if not the most, popular brands of security cameras sold today.

The police may not monitor your Ring Camera’s live feed but can request the recorded footage. Amazon may give them that footage without your permission.

Amazon often writes that it is the Ring Camera’s owner who decides whether to comply with a request from the police with footage from the owner’s camera.

Are Ring Cameras Monitored by Police?

Your Ring Cameras aren’t likely being monitored live by the police departments in your area. However, if they feel it is an emergency, Amazon will give them the footage.

Amazon has stated that they will give your Ring Camera recordings to the police without your permission if “imminent danger or death” is possible.

If the police deem the emergency a matter of life and death or personal injury, Amazon will supply them with the video from your Ring Camera.

Issues with Outdoor Surveillance and Law Enforcement

In decades past, an outdoor surveillance system was a sign that the homeowner was likely up to no good and probably dealing drugs.

This was because the bulky surveillance cameras of the era were large and expensive.

Currently, cameras can be very small, and you can monitor the goings outside your residence for just a few hundred dollars. 

The current cameras will also send motion alerts to any device to let you know someone is present outside your home.

Why Law Enforcement Might Have a Problem with your Cameras

From a homeowner’s perspective, having security cameras can make you feel safer by knowing who and what is going on outside your home.

From a law enforcement perspective, if they need to raid a house or approach a house, the small size of modern cameras are easily concealed.

This can allow the criminals they are trying to surprise or raid a leg up to the law enforcement officer’s presence.

This can lead to deadlier altercations between criminals and the police.

We’ve also examined your rights if you’re caught on a Ring camera committing a crime.

No-Knock Warrants

It is also possible to bypass the security risks judges might start issuing more no-knock warrants.

This wouldn’t be a problem if no-knock warrants were always issued and enacted properly.

But as was the case with Breonna Taylor in 2020, accidents and missteps unfortunately happen.

Cameras that the Police Can’t Access Without your Permission

It is possible to purchase cameras that the police can’t access without your permission, but they come with some trade-offs.

Local Storage vs. Cloud Storage

Most modern home security cameras work via a subscription-based cloud storage option. This stores your videos off-site in whichever company’s servers.

Using Cloud storage allows you to access your videos anywhere, but it also allows the company to comply with police requests for your video without your permission.

If Local Storage is used, then you have complete agency accessing your security footage. The police couldn’t gain access to this footage without your permission.

However, you lose all your footage if you have a break-in and someone steals your home storage unit (such as Network Attached Storage (NAS) or a DVR).

It is also nice not to rely on the internet to keep your camera’s recording. With local storage, as long as you have power, you have security.

Cloud Storage Pros and Cons

Having cloud storage with the Ring Camera system has many benefits but also some drawbacks.

ProsCons
Video accessible from anywhere onlinePolice don’t need your permission to access the videos
Off-Site back up is more secure than local storageYou don’t solely control your video recordings
More featuresMost features only accessible with a monthly subscription

If you’re wondering if police can get deleted Ring footage, we’ve already investigated for you.

Local Storage Pros and Cons

Depending on what you need, having local storage on your Ring Camera system can also be beneficial.

ProsCons
No Monthly fees – cheaperFewer features than a subscription service-based camera
No WiFi or internet connection required – all connections are localMain storage could be stolen by someone breaking in
Police can’t access videos without your permissionLarge storage space required

One of the biggest drawbacks to local storage is the amount required for videos. Keep reading to learn about the local storage space for Ring Cameras.

Storage Space

Another thing to consider is the amount of hard drive space good quality video takes up. You may need terabytes of local storage to save a decent amount of high-quality video.

On cameras that store video locally and in the cloud, such as the Wyze Cam v3 or the Eufy Solo IndoorCam, the oldest recording is deleted to make room for new recordings.

Subscription Services

The subscription services associated with the top brand security cameras often come with more features than a model that relies solely on local storage.

Many of these cameras have features that don’t work if using only local storage. You will need a cloud-based subscription to access many of these premium features.

Some of these services can include:

  • Activity Zones that can alert the owner to people, vehicles, or packages being delivered
  • Unlimited storage space
  • Access to your recordings from anywhere there is an internet connection

We have got more information about the Ring camera’s subscription services to help you out.

Conclusion

The terms of service for Ring Cameras say the owner has the right of refusal when offering the police their Ring Camera recordings.

However, if the police and Amazon decide it is an emergency, the owner will be bypassed, and the footage will be given directly to the police.

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