Service Before Self, Honor Above All

Arlington Police Join Nextdoor

When a 55-year-old man with dementia wandered away from his south Arlington neighborhood a few weeks ago, the man’s photo was posted on Facebook, Twitter and Nextdoor. Within minutes, information was shared with many others. By nightfall, he was found safe.

Last month, the Arlington Police Department announced its participation in an initiative that is opening the door for more citizen engagement in safety and crime prevention. Nextdoor allows the department to expand its social media presence beyond Twitter and Facebook to reach and engage more people.

With Nextdoor, officers can share time-sensitive information with residents in a forum where neighbors are already communicating.

To date, Arlington has 229 neighborhoods using Nextdoor, according to Nextdoor Senior City Strategist Robbie Turner.

Neighborhoods are using this social media tool to do everything from hiring painters and plumbers to finding lost pets, advertising garage sales and sharing employment opportunities.

During a recent storm, one neighborhood used Nextdoor to warn neighbors to seek shelter indoors. Others have set up virtual neighborhood watch groups to keep an eye on crime. Law enforcement participation adds value to the program, Turner said.

Unlike other social media platforms that are generally open to anyone anywhere, Nextdoor is neighborhood-based and can be accessed only by people who live in a specific community.

Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson said social media platforms are helping to restore a sense of community.

“Social media gets people talking,” he said. “It’s another good way to connect, get important information and then start some face-to-face communication.”

Learn more. Visit www.Nextdoor.com or here.