Nags Head unveils a new app to fight crime

By on July 30, 2019


Nags Head Police Chief Phil Webster (Neel Keller)

It is, according to Nags Head Police Chief Phil Webster, a significant technological step forward for the “community-oriented policing concept.” And, with an email blast on July 13, Webster introduced the community to the free Neighbors App that enables smart phone users to exchange real-time, local crime and safety information.

It “increases our ability to interact with our residents and takes that to a new level. It’s just another tool we can use to engage the public and become even more proactive,” Webster said. “Essentially, it’s a social media tool, like Facebook or Twitter.”

      To download the Neighbors App, residents can text “NHNC” to 555888 from their smart phone (iOS or Android) or go to: app. The app can be used to join a specific neighborhood, share crime and safety-related videos, photos and text posts, and receive real-time safety alerts from neighbors and local law enforcement. It was created by Ring Inc., a company owned by Amazon that manufactures a variety of home security products.

Webster has seen posts of videos of an unknown person coming up to a house, with a text asking if anyone knows the person. People can then post their comments, just as they would on Facebook. The police can make use of posts that are shared in a variety of ways by opening Ring’s Neighbors Portal, which provides alerts of crimes or potential crimes.

“Then we can reach out to the person who posted the video,” Webster said, “and request that they give us more information, including their name and location.” Users of the app, he added, are anonymous and only identified by a user number, which provides an additional benefit by allowing people to post videos without identifying themselves.

Another capability via the portal is pulling up a “heat map” showing clusters of people using the app. “For instance,” Webster explained, “say we’ve had some car break-ins in a neighborhood. Bringing up the heat map, we can draw a ‘geo-fence’ around that area, contact those people and ask them to review their video to see if they’ve picked up that activity. So the user is able to send us information and we’re able to send them information and make requests.”

By contrast, Webster said, before the police department partnered with Ring, town residents posted videos or photos on social media of crimes being committed or about to be committed, “and everybody posted comments about it – but no one called the police, so we were completely unaware of it.”

Webster said he first learned of the Neighbors App being used in Coral Gables, Florida. He said he kept the new technology in mind as he went through the process of applying to be the new chief in Nags Head. He was appointed to that position in February of this year.

When contacted, officials in some other Dare County municipalities indicated they were working on or with something similar.

Duck Police Chief John Cueto told the Sentinel his department has partnered with Axon Enterprises Inc. Among the programs being used is “Axon Citizen,” by which a citizen who has video of a crime or suspicious activity can call the Duck Police Department and be sent a link to send it to the police.

In August, Cueto said, he will ask the Duck Town Council to approve a five-year contract for “Axon Community.” Once approved, a link to this system will be posted on the town’s website, and residents will be able to post videos, photos and texts in “real time,” which will be stored immediately and available as evidence. The new program, will “integrate technologies to really create a virtual neighborhood block watch,” the chief said.

Kitty Hawk Police Chief Joel Johnson said his department is preparing to “take the next step and become a partner with Ring via its Neighbors App in an effort to promote greater communication with the people we serve.”

He added that, in the next several months, the department “will also be rolling out its Camera Registration Program, [which] allows residents and business owners to register the locations of their video surveillance systems with the Kitty Hawk Police Department. When a crime occurs, police will be able to identify the locations of nearby video cameras and enlist the assistance of the community to help officers collect video evidence and follow up on leads.”

Other municipal police departments in Dare County seem to be in the exploratory or early phases of this technology.

Kill Devil Hills Police Department Lieutenant W.D. Pierce told the Sentinel his department is “still in the learning phases of this new technology.”

Southern Shores Police Chief David Kole said his department is “reviewing a couple of different options for the fall.”

And Manteo Town Manager James Ayers said Manteo’s police are not using Ring or a similar program.


Barnhill Building Group has been selected as the Construction Manager @ Risk by the College of the Albemarle and is seeking to pre-qualify construction trade contractors to submit bids for the furnishing labor, materials, equipment, and tools for the new College of The Albemarle – Allied Health Sciences Simulation Lab (COA Health Sciences) located in Elizabeth City, NC. Please note: Only subcontractors who have been prequalified by Barnhill will be able to submit a Bid.

The project consists of the new construction of a 38,000-sf, 2-story expansion to the existing Owens Health Sciences Center and will house classrooms, labs, and a simulation lab. The site is just over just over 4.5 acres and is located on an active campus. This new construction will be a steel structure with a brick and metal panel veneer, curtainwall, and storefront glazing with a PVC roof membrane.

Principal trade and specialty contractors are solicited for the following Bid Packages:

BP0100: General Trades

BP0105: Final Cleaning

BP0390: Turnkey Concrete

BP0400: Turnkey Masonry

BP0500: Structural Steel & Misc. Steel

BP0740: Roofing

BP0750: Metal Panels

BP0790: Caulking / Caulking

BP0800: Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware

BP0840: Glass & Glazing

BP0925: Drywall

BP0960: Resilient Flooring

BP0980: Acoustical Ceilings

BP0990: Painting & Wallcovering

BP1005: Toilet Specialties / Accessories / Division 10

BP1010: Signage

BP1098: Demountable Partitions

BP1230: Finish Carpentry and Casework

BP1250: Window Treatment

BP1400: Elevators

BP2100: Fire Protection

BP2200: Plumbing

BP2300: HVAC

BP2600: Turnkey Electrical

BP3100: Turnkey Sitework

BP3290: Landscaping

Packages may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager. Historically underutilized business firms are encouraged to complete participation submittals.

HUB/MWBE OUTREACH MEETING: Barnhill Building Group will be conducting a HUB/MWBE Informational Session. You are encouraged to attend the following session to learn more about project participation opportunities available to you. These seminars will help to: Learn about project and scope; Inform and train Minority/HUB contractors in preparation for bidding this project; Assist in registration on the State of North Carolina Vendor link; Stimulate opportunities for Networking with other firms. Location and time TBD. Please visit our planroom at for more information.

Interested contractors should submit their completed prequalification submittals, by July 22, 2024, to Meredith Terrell at or hardcopies can be mailed to Barnhill Contracting Company PO Box 31765 Raleigh, NC 27622 (4325 Pleasant Valley Road, NC 27612).


Sussex Development is soliciting bids to turnkey supply and install FF&E for the new Tulls Creek Elementary School, 125 Campus Drive, Moyock, NC27929. This project is a new ground-up 2-story, Pre-K thru 5th grade school, approximately 118,000 square feet. Bid documents may be obtained through Christopher West Interiors LLC. Request bid documents via email to Pre-Bid RFIs will be accepted via email until Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 5:00PM EST. Pricing proposals are due Wednesday, August 14, 2024 by 5:00PM EST. All bids and inquires to be sent to Certified NC Hub, MBE, WBE, DBE, SBE are highly encouraged to participate. Sussex Development is an EOE and maintains a drug-free workplace.



  • Moved here from south of the Mason Dixon line

    “Big brother will be watching”. I don’t know if that’s a good idea.

    Wednesday, Jul 31 @ 6:02 am
  • Steve

    We would not need things like this if we were not so overpopulated and dangerous during the tourist season.

    Wednesday, Jul 31 @ 7:20 am