The City of Concord officially launches its program to promote the community’s use of the new social network Nextdoor.com on Halloween, Oct. 31. Representatives from the Concord Police Department and Nextdoor will be in downtown Concord from 3 to 5 p.m. on Halloween to answer questions as parents and children trick-or-treat from store to store.
Nextdoor makes it easy for neighbors to communicate with each other about the issues that matter most to them, whether it’s crime prevention, getting a recommendation for a plumber or asking for help finding a lost pet. Each Nextdoor website is password protected and available only to people living in that neighborhood. Members must verify when they sign up that they live in the neighborhood before they can join.
The City’s role is to invite residents to join Nextdoor as a way to strengthen neighbor-to-neighbor connections. The neighborhood and the City can communicate about matters of concern, such as crime trends and crime prevention, roadway maintenance, and park use, but the City cannot access or view posts between neighbors.
Although the uses for Nextdoor are many, here are some examples of how neighbors are using the site:
• Reporting suspicious activity or quickly get the word out about a break-in
• Tracking down a trustworthy babysitter
• Sharing recommendations about local businesses and services (contractors, plumbers, dentists, restaurants, day care providers and more)
- · Finding a new home for an outgrown bike or baby clothes
• Organizing neighborhood events or family garage sales
• Asking for help to find a lost dog or cat
The program, developed in Menlo Park, has been launched in more than two dozen California cities. Brent Bamberger of Orinda has this to say about his neighborhood’s Nextdoor site: “We’ve seen lost pets get returned in minutes, and ping pong tables found new homes in a matter of posts; and a heightened sense of security throughout the neighborhood when a recent crime wave hit.”
The City is facilitating the launch of this new way to connect by assisting the company that created Nextdoor with maps and GIS information to help define the neighborhoods. To date, three neighborhoods have joined the network, and several others are in process.
“There are many advantages to using Nextdoor,” says Sgt. Russ Norris. “It’s like a Neighborhood Watch program gone digital with the goal of getting neighbors talking to reduce blight, nuisance issues and crime. Research has shown that one of the best ways to prevent crime is to get to know your neighbors. When neighbors know each other, they look out for each other. Nextdoor makes it easier for neighbors to meet, create watch groups, report suspicious activity, and prevent crime before it happens.”
For more information, visit www.Nextdoor.com or contact Sgt. Norris, (925) 671-3311, ext. 4328.