Daytona Beach to give seniors free doorbell cameras as part of new crime prevention program

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — When a Daytona Beach couple was murdered coming home from attending bike week festivities in March, police were able to identify a suspect quickly, thanks to home and business surveillance video.

In the months since, Daytona Beach City leaders are hoping a new pilot program can expand its access to surveillance video and photos to combat crime.

>>> STREAM CHANNEL 9 EYEWITNESS NEWS LIVE <<<

The city is proposing using $20,000 in American Rescue Plan funds to buy 200 Ring doorbell cameras for citizens.

The plan is to distribute the doorbell cameras to residents, mainly senior citizens, in an effort to protect those who may be more vulnerable to crimes.

Read: Sources: Charges recommended against Osceola County deputy, motorcyclist following gas station fire

Daytona Beach City Commissioner Ken Strickland said seniors were chosen for the program because they are often the target of theft and fraud.

“This should provide them some feeling of security by having that there,” Strickland said.

Read: Coast Guard searching for missing man after boat washes ashore in Brevard County

To participate, residents must live in one of the four city commission zones — 2, 3, 5 or 6 — and meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be at least 65 years of age
  • Have a Wi-Fi network at their residence
  • Have a smartphone
  • Pay the annual subscription for the monitoring service ($3 a month or $30 per year)
  • Attend a training class offered by the Daytona Beach Police Department
  • Agree to share any surveillance video with law enforcement, in the event of a crime in their neighborhood
  • Must not already have a doorbell camera device

Read: Police identify suspect accused of shooting at Orlando officers during traffic stop

Strickland says that if the program proves successful, the city could expand the program to other age groups and zones.

More information on the program and application can be found here.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Matt Reeser

Matt Reeser, WFTV.com

Matt Reeser joined WFTV in 1998 as a news photographer and has worked for television stations in Kentucky and West Virginia.