Aurora police first in Illinois to join ‘Neighbors’

By Dan Campana

Aurora police became the first department in Illinois to join the Neighbors app, which provides real-time crime and safety information to the community.

Neighbors, a Ring product, is a digital network currently used by millions around the country. It is credited with helping law enforcement catch package thieves, stop burglaries and generally working to keep neighborhoods safe, officials said. App users can monitor community activity, share crime and safety information and receive safety alerts from other residents, police and Ring’s team.

“The Neighbors app allows us to be laser-focused on crimes that are occurring at the neighborhood level,” said Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman. “Law enforcement has long said that we can’t be everywhere at every time, but this app certainly expands our ability to share information with the community and enhances our relationships with the people we serve.”

Neighbors joins Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor among the digital platforms Aurora police use to engage residents.

“Neighbors is meant to facilitate real-time communication … while maintaining neighbor privacy first and foremost. By bringing security to every neighbor with the free Neighbors app, the Aurora community can stay on top of crime and safety alerts as they happen,” Ring Chief Inventor and Founder Jamie Siminoff said.

Portion of Interstate 74 dedicated to fallen state trooper

A Downstate five-mile stretch of Interstate 74 now bears the name of Illinois State Trooper Ryan Albin who died while on duty in 2017.

During a Tuesday ceremony in Farmer City, state officials and Gov. Bruce Rauner came together with Albin’s family to formally dedicate a section of the interstate between milepost 155 and 160 as the Trooper Ryan Albin Memorial Highway.

Albin, assigned to District 6, died in June 2017 while on patrol with his K-9 Biko. They were traveling on I-74 near Farmer City when Albin’s squad collided with a box truck as both vehicles entered a construction zone.

Albin joined ISP in January 2006 and was assigned to the Pontiac-based district as a K-9 officer. He marked his career with significant drug, weapon and illegal cigarette seizures, while also serving as a juvenile officer, a Fraternal Order of Police trustee and member of the National Criminal Enforcement Association.

Arlington Heights K-9 Max heads into retirement

After eight years of helping track down suspects, finding missing persons and sniffing out contraband, Arlington Heights Police K-9 Max received a special sendoff this week to begin his retirement.

At Tuesday night’s Village Board meeting, Max sat nicely beside his handler, Officer Mike Butler, as a proclamation in his honor was read listing off his accomplishments since joining the force in September 2010. Several of Max’s K-9 colleagues were in attendance to help celebrate the milestone.

(Village of Arlington Heights photo)

Born in Hungary in August 2008, the German Shepard was the third K-9 in the department at the time of his arrival with the unit.