GREENSBORO, N.C. - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat: All of these apps help you keep in touch with friends and family.
But Triad police want you to add another one - it's called Nextdoor. Officers are using it more and more, sending out alerts to let you know about crimes in your neighborhood.
Scrolling through the feed - you see various posts about lost pets, events, and items that are free and for sale. There’s also a section for crime & safety, where Greensboro police officers are posting. But their messages aren't getting enough traction, so they're asking more people to use the social site.
Patrick Griggs lives and works in the Latham Park area of Greensboro. At first - he found many neighbors weren't all that neighborly.
“When I moved here three years ago - no one came to greet me,” he said, “It's like those days are in the past.”
But he found a sense of community not long after: on Nextdoor, where people who live in the same area can connect.
“It brings people together. Even if you don't know them,” he said.
He also uses it as a neighborhood crime watch. He recently posted about a suspicious person walking door-to-door.
“I had seen him in my window coming up my sidewalk and I motioned him on, and then the police officer pulled up, and then another police officer pulled up, and I saw that they had apprehended him for questioning,” said Griggs.
The Greensboro Police Department posts on Nextdoor often. Officer Douglas Campbell says it helps them get the word out quickly.
“Nextdoor is a convenient way for us to put out crime alerts to specific neighborhoods,” he said.
But they're running into a problem: not enough people are logged on.
“As I look at Nextdoor, a very low percentage of people in the neighborhood are usually on it, to nobody in the neighborhood at all,” said Campbell, “So it would be more effective if more people would sign up and use it.”
It’s something Griggs would encourage too.
“This app has opened up the community to be more one,” he said.
Greensboro Police tell the people they serve about the app whenever possible -- hoping the number of users will go up.
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