In an effort to help facilitate a virtual neighborhood watch program and help foster neighbor-to-neighbor communications, the Niagara County Sheriff's Office has partnered with Nextdoor (www.nextdoor.com), the private social network for neighborhoods.
Nextdoor is free for the residences of Niagara County. Each neighborhood has its own private Nextdoor neighborhood website, accessible only to residents of that neighborhood.
Residents can use their website to get to know their neighbors, ask questions, and exchange local advice and recommendations. For example, neighbors can use Nextdoor to share information about neighborhood watch and safety issues, local events, school activities, upcoming garage sales and lost pets.
Neighborhoods establish and self-manage their own Nextdoor website. Information shared on Nextdoor is only visible to verified members.
The Niagara County Sheriff's Office will be able to post important information, such as crime updates to Nextdoor sites within Niagara County. The Sheriff's Office will not be able to access the residents' websites, contact information, or content.
"In this day and age, it is vital for neighbors to come together and look out for one another. Nextdoor makes it easy for neighbors to establish virtual neighborhood watch and combat crime" said Sheriff James R. Voutour. "Nextdoor will help create a stronger and safer community that we call home".
Nextdoor was specifically designed to make neighbors feel comfortable sharing information with one another in order to build stronger communities. All members must verify that they live within the neighborhood. Information shared on Nextdoor is password protected and cannot be accessed by those outside the neighborhood or found on Google or other search engines. In addition, Nextdoor never shares personal information with any third parties. Unlike an email listserv or other online groups, neighbor posts are organized and archived for future reference.
Niagara County has been mapped into different neighborhoods. Visit www.nextdoor.com and enter your address. If Nextdoor is available in your area, sign up. If a Nextdoor website has not yet been established for their area, neighbors are invited to apply to bring Nextdoor to their neighborhood. For questions about the Nextdoor website, call Deputy Robert Richards at 716-438-3310 or visit www.help.nextdoor.com.