MOSCOW, August 7 (RIA Novosti) - The Portsmouth, New Hampshire Police Department has announced a partnership with the Nextdoor social network to create online neighborhood groups that connect residents to the local police in an effort to improve safety, communication and local communities.
"It's like Facebook for neighbors," Detective Duane Jacques, Portsmouth’s police officer leading the program told Seacoast Online, a New Hampshire and southern Maine news network.
The partnership will allow the Portsmouth Police Department to send out alerts to specific neighborhoods and can be used by residents to keep the public aware of safety issues, report lost pets, share community events and activities, and advertise local services, Jacques explained.
Jacques is currently in discussions with city officials to expand the site to include other departments, possibly leading to notifications, including road construction, locations and trash pickup schedules. According to Jacques, the website will not be used to report emergencies.
“Residents and police will be able to work together to improve safety and strengthen neighborhood watch efforts,” Chief Stephen J. DuBois stated in a press notice. “
With Nextdoor, Portsmouth residents can join private neighborhood websites to share information, including neighborhood public safety issues, community events and activities, local services and even lost pets. The Portsmouth Police Department will be able to post information, such as safety tips and crime alerts, to Nextdoor websites within the city,” DuBois added.
In the press release, DuBois reassured the public that the police department will not be able to access residents’ personal information, adding that information shared over the network is password-protected and blocked from search engines. Each neighborhood will have its own site, accessible only to those who verify that they live in that area. Neighborhoods are able to self-manage their own Nextdoor websites. Residents and police are to receive access free of charge.
According to its official website, Nextdoor is a free social networking website based in San Francisco, California with the goal of building stronger and safer neighborhoods. The website reveals people use the site in a variety of ways, including reporting break-ins, organizing neighborhood watch groups, finding babysitters or just getting to know neighbors by their first names.