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OPD using new app to communicate online

 

The Oxford Police Department is teaming up with the app Nextdoor to change the way they approach crime in town.

The app, a private social networking service for neighborhoods founded in 2011, allows people to connect with others more efficiently in their communities.

Within a private Nextdoor online community page, Oxonians can share tips for babysitters or plumbers and organize neighborhood events. The app also makes it easier to report suspicious activity to the police and receive updates from them.

Nextdoor protects one’s privacy by protecting each community page through a password. Members must verify that they live in a certain neighborhood before being admitted to the group.

“When neighbors know each other, they look out for one another,” the Nextdoor website reads. “Nextdoor makes it easy to come together to create watch groups, report suspicious activity and prevent crime before it happens.”

Captain Hildon Sessums with the OPD says that the idea for using the app was brought up by Police Chief Joey East.

“We are always looking at new ways to engage and inform the community,” Sessums said in an email. “I was asked to look into it and saw that departments across the country were having great success with it so we jumped on board.”

Sessums added that “Nextdoor gives us another tool in our social media belt to help inform the community.”

“I believe that Twitter and Facebook have been huge success stories for OPD,” he said. “Nextdoor allows us to talk directly to neighborhoods instead of putting it out for the world to see.”

The captain says that Nextdoor is beneficial for both the police department and for those living in neighborhoods.

“The days of the old Neighborhood Watch meetings are over,” he said. “It’s all digital and this will allow neighbors to connect and share information with each other. The way Nextdoor works is we can’t see those conversations. We can only see a post when it’s directed towards us.”