Private Social Network Connects Neighbors on Nextdoor
By Aimee L. Cook
Sandy - Sandy City has gone hi-tech with their neighborhood watch program. Nextdoor is a private social networking site that connects neighbors to each other and is used as a tool for the Sandy Police Department to communicate crime reports and other information to the community. Much like other social media sites, registered users can post information like open houses or yard sales, but the site has mainly been used to communicate neighborhood concerns like theft or possible developments proposed in the area, which may or may not be what the neighborhood would welcome.
“When neighbors start talking, good things happen,” Amy Bryant, Sandy City Police crime prevention specialist, said. “Nextdoor makes it easy for neighbors to communicate with each other on issues that are concerning to the neighborhood. They can remind their neighbors on ways to prevent crime or alert them to suspicious activity.”
Nextdoor is neighborhood specific: it is free, password protected and private. You have the option of listing your complete address, or just your street address, though the site does verify your information before it will allow you to be added to that neighborhood.
“As a police department, we don’t see what the neighbors are saying,” Bryant said. “We can post timely tips, like not warming up your car unattended, and we can send out alerts to everyone on the site, but we are not Big Brother watching what they are talking about.”
One of the other advantages to signing up on Nextdoor is you receive a monthly crime report from Sandy City. This report tells you the type of theft, where it occurred, whether it was a home, business or car, etc. It also gives a breakdown on high crime days of the week, as well as time of day, which is very useful information for homeowners in the area so they can be especially mindful as they watch the patterns.
Nextdoor will send you an email when a new comment or police alert is added so you don’t miss any important conversations. The Sandy Police Department is looking to expand the service and has invited both the city government and the fire department to get on board. Visit Nextdoor.com to sign up.