MO police use app to reconnect neighbors, reinvent neighborhood watch

MO police use app to reconnect neighbors, reinvent neighborhood watch

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Nearly a third of Americans say they don't know their neighbors by name.

The Cape Girardeau Police Department wants to improve those relationships in their own city with an app.

It's called Nextdoor. Think of it as online forum that you and only your neighbors can share.

Because neighborhood news no longer moves over fences, the app, which was started in January, is helping neighbors reconnect and reinvent the neighborhood watch.

"It is just kind of a neighborhood watch but online," said Police Chief Wes Blair.

Nextdoor allows police to send out specific alerts to users in specific areas. It can also help send a message that can help lead to tips and swift arrests.

"People in a designated neighborhood can get access to this website and it is only for that neighborhood so outside people can't access it," he said.

Already hundreds have jumped online and download the app.

Chief Blair said areas that have a level of trust tend to be safer.

"The police aren't spying on what your conversations are, but you can respond to our posts and we can send out information directly to the neighborhood," he said.

Things like crime alerts, emergency notifications, safety precautions and tips, details for events, and updates on activity affecting the local area.

"I'm pretty familiar with everybody," said Cape Girardeau resident Robert Wade.

Neighbors can also share community events and activities, local services, even lost pets.

But with constant online interaction, talking face-to-face won't go out of style anytime soon for Wade.

"It will work, ya know? If everybody joins it. I guess I am already doing it now so I guess I'll do it," said Wade.

Ten people need to be signed up in each "neighborhood" in order for it to become an active forum.

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