Opinion: Safe neighborhoods the real end game


The Westfield Police Dept., in a move we heartily applaud, has joined forces with Nextdoor, a web-based program with mobile capabilities. It’s more than a gateway to “find a great babysitter or trusty dentist, borrow a ladder or sell that old bookcase,” as its website indicates. This is about keeping you and your neighbors informed and neighborhoods safer, all in concert with the police department. Westfield joins Cedar Lake and Lafayette as the only Indiana municipalities to deploy the service. Now WPD can send alerts to specific (or multiple) neighborhoods. One neighborhood of more than 1,000 homes is said to be 50-percent enabled. We hope the connectivity grows; it would be a shame to have the service and not avail oneself the opportunity to be alerted to important information. Nextdoor says websites are password-protected and not accessible by search engines. Only real neighbors may log onto the system, with each member verifying his or her address so other users know the person is trustworthy. And, as important, Nextdoor vows to not share information with third parties. “One of the key features that sold me was the ability to send real-time notifications that are sent in an email or mobile text message to neighbors who have a Nextdoor account. This feature has been one of the most useful for our neighborhood watch,” Aaron Sherrick, lead block captain for the Countryside neighborhood, told the city of Westfield. “Nextdoor.com also has a mobile app for Android and iPhone, so you can share info even while walking on the neighborhood paths or checking on the neighborhood when you are away.” As of press time, two dozen neighborhoods had joined. Please consider making yours a part of the loop.





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