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A social network and mobile app is helping Chico police to keep neighborhoods safer.
The police department introduced this feature last year and says it has been very successful
"Nextdoor" is a social network designed for residents in neighborhoods to communicate, sending each other messages, regarding anything from garage sales to even reporting crimes or tips.
"The Chico police department teamed up with Nextdoor about a year ago and we use it as a tool to communicate directly with the citizens of Chico,” said Ed Nelson, Chico Police Target Team. “It’s a virtual neighborhood watch"
Since last year, over 5,000 residents in Chico have signed up. Although, the department would like to see that number grow, they already consider it a success.
“Absolutely, before people were hesitant to call the police department and talk about different issues they are having on their neighborhoods,” Nelson said. “With Nextdoor it’s as easy as emailing the police department directly. It comes right to my computer."
Right now, its only officer nelson who is in charge of receiving the messages but they hope to have six officers in the near future, one for every area in which they divided Chico.
"We started it out on a trial basis and it’s been very successful for us, it’s just going to expand as the police department grows. We’ll be using it more and more,” he said.
Officer Nelson, still recommends meeting your neighbors personally yet for instant personal communication, they say Nextdoor is a great tool.
“Before we would have to make a bunch of calls or put a press release and hope they see the news, put it out like I’m talking on the camera here, they may not have that channel on at the time, but I can send it directly to their computer and let them know to keep their eyes out," he said.
The police department wanted to stress that they do not have access to the neighbor's conversations, they only have access to the messages sent directly to the department.