“Well when I first moved in my neighbor came over, introduced herself and welcomed me to the neighborhood,” said Texcie Veasey, Mobile.
The traditional way of checking up on your neighbors was walking over and talking to them. Then, last year Mobile Police began introducing the Nextdoor app to help some check in on the phone. It’s still catching on, but the app allows you to browse through posts and submit your own. Now there’s over 14,000 member and Jacqueline Dean is one of them. Dean uses it to let her neighbors know about the jewelry she makes as well as keep an eye on her surroundings.
“And I get to see when there’s burglaries so yeah I like especially as an elderly person,” said Dean, Mobile.
Unlike Facebook, Nextdoor limits users to only their neighborhood and those directly connected to it.
“More crimes have been reported with this app as opposed to neighbors not having access to something like Nextdoor,” said Charlette Solis, MPD Public Affairs Officer.
Tips that typically residents would hesitate to call in, now take a few minutes to text. Those tips end up going to a police officer assigned to each of Mobile’s four precincts. One of the most interactive neighborhoods is the Old Dauphin Way District where residents have sent in hundreds of messages.
“It enables us to have a two-way conversation so that they feel free to let us know what’s happening. A connected community is a safer community,” said Solis.
Police don’t yet have any specifics yet on whether the app has stopped a crime, but they say it’s helped solve them.