A 21st-century threat: Doorbell camera safety tactics for police

Several high-profile incidents illustrate the risks this new form of home surveillance pose to LEOs

On November 24, 2020, two Domestic Violence Unit officers of the NYPD’s 105th Precinct were shot multiple times in a residence by a domestic violence suspect who had multiple ring doorbell cameras installed at his home, as well as other surveillance devices.

The officers were in the residence after a woman had come into the precinct to report a domestic violence incident and the officers accompanied the woman back to the home. They were there for about six minutes according to news reports when the offender returned to the house, shooting and seriously injuring both officers inside the home. 

In this incident, the victim warned the investigating officers about the existence of the surveillance cameras and that the offender had access to the cameras. In addition, the home had overt signs warning about video surveillance. The offender's arrival to the home with a weapon in hand indicates with high probability that he was aware of the victim and officers' presence and possibly monitoring their presence prior to ambushing them. (View an NYPD video briefing of the incident here.)  

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