The Richland Hills Police Department is taking yet another step forward its social media journey. The PD started in 2010 with Facebook and, after attending a SMILE Conference, moved forward with Twitter, a YouTube channel, and a Google Plus account. But there’s a new kid on the block Richland Hills Police have put in their social media repertoire, and it’s called Nextdoor.
Nextdoor is a free program sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch which allows residents to securely connect with each other, local businesses, and the City of Richland Hills. Richland Hills is broken into 5 grids and each grid is a neighborhood. Residents go to www.Nextdoor.com and sign up using their address. Nextdoor then goes through a verification process to ensure they know who is applying for an account.
Chief of Police Barbara Childress said, “This doesn’t replace our traditional neighborhood watch program, but it supplements it for people who don’t have time to physically participate. They can now stay up to date with news from the city, crime tips and trends, and get to know their neighbors in a virtual neighborhood.” Chief Childress went on to say, “The program has done exactly what we wanted it to and residents are jumping into this with both feet. We have had residents who have never used other social media platforms get on Nextdoor and start interacting with their neighbors and the police department.”
Nextdoor is loaded with features geared toward allowing neighbors to get to know each other safely. It’s linked to the sex offender database so if a registered sex offender or anyone at that house tries to obtain an account it will deny access. Chief Childress commented, “Neighbors that know each other are a powerful asset to the police. If you know your neighbors vehicles and you see a different car in their driveway, a close neighbor is more likely to call police to investigate.”
This program is designed to build stronger, healthier communities with crime prevention being a byproduct. For more information visit www.nextdoor.com. If you would like information about how Richland Hills implemented their program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.