HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – With worry about crime on the rise, the presence of Nextdoor in neighborhoods throughout Hampton, Yorktown-Poquoson and Newport News has become a form of security for residents and a way to stay interconnected, increasing the strength of virtual neighborhood watch.
Nextdoor, a social networking service for neighborhoods, was created in 2008 and acquired by Hampton Police in November 2014. Police regularly use Nextdoor to quickly notify the public about dangerous, wanted suspects who are frequently armed.
Recently, the three departments came together to share their successes with Nextdoor and ask more residents to get involved with the platform. Encouraged by the opportunity to further progress as a connected community, each department is proactively making an official call-to-action for more residents to join.
On a regular basis, Nextdoor enables police to get immediate feedback about what is going on in the city and informs them of the location of wanted suspects in connection with the local Crime Line program.
With Newport News Police joining the program in June 2015 and York-Poquoson in January 2016, the three departments have collectively received high engagement from residents on their posts and seen a continuously increasing membership base. The total membership is nearly 40,000 to date.
Nextdoor is free for residents and public agencies and each neighborhood has its own private neighborhood website, accessible only to residents of that neighborhood who establish and self-manage their own Nextdoor.
All members have to verify that they live in the neighborhood before joining. Information shared on Nextdoor is password protected and cannot be accessed by search engines and agencies.
By Vivian Alana Caesar