October 8, 2013 - Houston Police Chief Charles A. McClelland, Jr. and Nextdoor Co-Founder and CEO Nirav Tolia today announced HPD's participation in Nextdoor, a private social network for neighborhoods, which facilitates a virtual neighborhood watch program.
Nextdoor is a free social network for residents and the police department. Almost 400 neighborhoods are already participating in Nextdoor. HPD will use the tool to strengthen neighbor-to-neighbor communications and will share important news, information on services and programs, and provide notification to neighborhoods signed up on the platform.
Each Houston neighborhood has the option of its own private Nextdoor neighborhood website, accessible only to residents of that neighborhood. Residents can use their website to get to know their neighbors, ask questions and exchange information about neighborhood watch and safety issues, and much more.
A neighborhood establishes and self-manages its own Nextdoor website. Information shared on Nextdoor is only visible to verified members. The Houston Police Department will post important information, such as crime updates to Nextdoor sites within the city that are relevant to each specific neighborhood. HPD will not be able to access the residents' websites, contact information, or content.
"In this day and age, it is vital for neighbors to come together and look out for one another," said HPD Chief Charles A. McClelland, Jr. "Nextdoor makes it easy for HPD to share information with Houston neighborhoods and help combat crime."
Nextdoor was designed to make neighbors feel comfortable sharing information with one another in order to build stronger communities. All members must verify they live within the neighborhood. Information shared on Nextdoor is password protected and cannot be accessed by those outside the neighborhood or found on Google or other search engines. In addition, Nextdoor never shares personal information with any third parties. Unlike an email listserv or other online groups, neighborhood posts are organized and archived for future reference.
Citizens interested in joining their neighborhood's Nextdoor website can visit www.nextdoor.com and enter their address. If Nextdoor is available, the citizen can immediately sign up. If a Nextdoor website has not yet been established for the area, active and engaged neighbors are invited to apply to bring Nextdoor to their neighborhood. Questions and application information for neighborhood websites can be found at www.help.nextdoor.com.
For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.