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Police urge residents to download crime-tracking apps

Nextdoor, JSO apps allow people to track crime, receive community alerts

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office urged residents to download two apps to help track crime and stay in the know about their neighborhoods.

Both the Nextdoor app and the JSO app allow people to see the latest nearby crimes and receive crime updates within minutes of them happening. 

Police understand that Jacksonville residents are eager to know what's going on in their own neighborhoods now, more than ever. So the Sheriff's Office has made it a mission to help keep people safe with a simple notification. 

"I have it for my neighborhood on my mobile phone," JSO Public Information Officer Melissa Bujeda said. "When you open it up, it's simple to use."

The Nextdoor app acts as a bulletin board for neighbors to post everything from community events to crimes.

Neighbors in the Lakewood area said they have used the app to alert others about a string of burglaries that have happened in the last month.

RELATED: Rash of burglaries concerns Lakewood residents

Within the last two months, the Sheriff's Office has joined the Nextdoor app as an agency, which allows residents to get the same breaking news alerts and press releases that the media receives -- all with a simple notification.

"If we had an AMBER Alert, if we have a Silver Alert, something that everyone needs to know. But in terms of burglaries happening in your specific neighborhood, we can actually drill down in the app and only post to your specific neighborhood to let you know, 'Hey, some auto burglaries occurred. Lock your car doors. Take the guns out the vehicles,'" Bujeda said. 

But the agency's digital efforts don't stop with the Nextdoor app. The Sheriff's Office is urging people to download the JSO app as well.

"Online crime reporting, report a traffic crash and inmate search," JSO Public Information Office Christian Hancock said. "You can report crimes, remain anonymous, you can report traffic crashes, reports. (There's) just a plethora of things you can do on this app and never have to speak to anybody personally."

Hancock and Bujeda said their families use both apps to stay safe.

"As a family man (with a) wife and three boys, there's just not enough time in any one day to go out there and know everything that's going on," Hancock said.