Community Policing and Resources

—By Ken Harris—-

Last year, I was proud to share my article concerning advances in technological communications and the benefits it provides for the Springfield Police Department and residents in the never-ending challenge to make our city a safe place to live and work. I briefly wrote about the significance of Nextdoor.com, a private social network. After further exploring it, I like to emphasize the power of this tool and encourage residents who haven’t checked it out yet to do so.

Nextdoor.com provides neighbors all over the country the freedom to get to know each other and collaborate with local public safety agencies to strengthen communities. As an official sponsor of the annual National Night Out that promotes police-community partnership, this free platform is a measure to cultivate strong and safe neighborhoods.
Its broad service to the public can suit a variety of purposes such as recruiting volunteers, organizing events, sharing experiences concerning suspicious or safety issues, receiving emergency alerts via text message or email, organization of private groups, notifications from public safety agencies, and so much more.

Generally, this vast communication network exists for neighbors to share information with each other and to even reach out to other users in different sectors within the city.
As of this writing, 956 neighbors in 17 neighborhoods in Springfield rely on this service. According to Nextdoor.com, an estimated 1 to 4 neighborhoods in the U.S. find this technological source helpful in getting recommendations for home repairs, getting the word out about lost pets, tag sales, opinions about new restaurants or stores in the neighborhood, and so forth.

I personally found Nextdoor.com a simple way to connect with some of my neighbors to learn about what’s happening where we live. You never know who will suddenly make an entry or share useful input. For example, recently Pam Peebles, the Director for Animal Control for the Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center, went on the site to introduce herself, share her contact info, and invite the community as a whole to address any concerns pertaining to pets or animals.

Nextdoor.com was founded in 2010 in San Francisco, California. It has been an amazing journey for this vast communication tool which is intended to help neighborhoods become stronger, safer places for both home and work. It quickly became a trusted platform nationwide and is embraced by law enforcement agencies and communities. The company’s core values consist of investing in communities, supporting good neighbors, expanding communication, and, of course, putting members first. Today, it is staffed by 186 people.

Its classifieds and directories read almost like a standard newspaper. Announcements of the sale of items and tag sales are common along with inquiries by individuals seeking a specific product or contractual or non- contractual service.

Signing up to register for Nextdoor.com is fast, safe, and secure. Your information will not be shared with anyone, especially third party advertisers. You choose what information is shared and where it is shared.

Overall, I am pleased that we have an avenue to privately engage in dialogue for the betterment of our communities. In the long run, a good quality of life improves property values and sustains healthy and safe living. Who wouldn’t want that? ■

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