F’ville Police Department cyber patrols Nextdoor

@TheSunGazette

farmersville – The Farmersville Police Department is opening a new door in crime fighting by using a new social media site.

The department recently announced on its web site that it was using Nextdoor, a private social network for neighborhoods, to share information on crime prevention, safety, public events, and emergency notifications. Nextdoor is a free web site that allows users to create the boundary of their neighborhood and then allow users within the neighborhood to talk online to “make all of your lives better in the real world.” According to Nextdoor.com, people are using the site to notify neighbors of break-ins, organize a Neighborhood Watch Group but also find a trustworthy babysitter or ask for help in locating a lost dog.

According to May 2015 report by the Wall Street Journal, the crowd sourcing site has been successfully used by the Sacramento Police Department to cut crime rates by as much as 24% over a two-year period.

However, the department said it is not using the site to spy on residents but rather keep them informed of what’s going on in their neighborhood. In fact, the department is encouraging Farmersville residents to keep their neighborhood sites private, so that no police staff members will be able to see any of the content except for direct replies to information posted by the department.

The department also wants to remind residents that Nextdoor, “is not the appropriate way to request emergency services, police services, report criminal or suspicious activity, file a report, etc.”

Residents needing emergency services, or wanting to report suspicious activity, should continue to call 911.

“We look forward to connecting with you on Nextdoor to build stronger, safer neighborhoods throughout Farmersville,” the department said in a released statement.

Based in San Francisco, Nextdoor was founded in 2010 and is funded by Benchmark Capital, Greylock Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Tiger Global Management, and Shasta Ventures as well as other investors and Silicon Valley angels. For more information, visit www.nextdoor.com.

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