Christine Lee, NBC 5 Grand Prairie Reporter
The Grand Prairie Police Department has turned to the private networking site Nextdoor.com to help keep in touch with residents.
Grand Prairie police are linking residents of the city's neighborhoods together on a private networking site.
Popular social networking services such as Facebook and Twitter are helpful in sharing information with a mass audience, but the department is using Nextdoor.com to better communicate with neighborhoods.
"The neighborhoods can connect with each other," Officer Mark Beseda said. "They can speak with each other through the website. They can do things such as sell a lawnmower, sell a bicycle, ask for a babysitter."
Police are using the website to update specific neighborhoods about crime in their area.
The police department has been urging residents to get on board with their neighborhood page since launching the pages in December. Since then, more than 1,700 residents representing more than 30 neighborhoods across Grand Prairie have joined.
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Nextdoor.com is private.
"It's not open to the public, and the public cannot see or access the site," Beseda said. "You're required to provide proof of your address to make sure that you're in the same neighborhood."
The Grand Peninsula Neighborhood in South Grand Prairie has more than 540 members.
Denise Fanning, homeowners association manager, said the networking site has filled a communication void in her neighborhood of 1,235 homes. Users on the site have even connected a child with a lost stuffed animal, she said.
Beseda said the Grand Prairie police chief is also a member. He said he hoped the networking site can help build stronger relationships with residents and be used as a tool to solve crimes more quickly.