Arlington Hoping Social Media Site Helps Fight Crime

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Arlington police say social media has become a powerful took to help stop crime, which is why they're tapping in to Nextdoor, a site that's growing in popularity and allows citizens to keep up with with everything going on in their neighborhood. (Published Friday, May 2, 2014)

    Linda Graves likes to stay connected with what's happening in her neighborhood, something she says is easy to do with the help of a new social media site called Nextdoor.com.

    "We're actively using it," said Graves.

    She and nearly 500 of her neighbors in the Woodland West community are members of the site, which gives them an online forum only they can access to share things like neighborhood events or calls for babysitters.

    "I can get [text and email] responses on my cell phone if I'm actually away from my computer," said Graves.

    Arlington police believe it's also a great place to share information that will keep the city safe.

    "Arlington is always looking for innovative ways to stay connected in the community," said Sgt. Vincent Pewitt, who oversees the Arlington Police Department's Crime Prevention Unit.

    Starting Friday, the agency will begin posting crime and emergency alerts, as well as safety tips, on Nextdoor.

    "The great thing about Nextdoor is we can send out things specifically for that neighborhood," said Pewitt.

    And that's not all they like about it. Nextdoor said the site is meant to be a stepping stone for people to go out into their neighborhoods and develop real, face-to-face relationships with their neighbors. Pewitt said those kinds of tight-knit communities where neighbors look out for one another typically don’t have much crime.

    Graves has lived in her neighborhood for nearly 50 years and said she's never felt closer to the people in it.

    "I'm now meeting them," said Graves. "I'm actually doing a neighborhood walk group with some of the ladies that like to walk."

    Nextdoor says 63 percent of the neighborhoods in Arlington are using the site.

    19 other police departments in the DFW area also use Nextdoor.