App helps track crime, special events in your neighborhood

By Nikki Kimbleton - The Morning Show anchor, Jodi Mohrmann - Managing Editor of special projects
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NOCATEE, Fla. - If something happens in your neighborhood, whether it's a crime or a special event, how do you usually find out about it? Community bulletin boards, emails and even the traditional phone call can work, but what if you're trying to notify hundreds of people at once? A new app is aimed at making that easier.

If you want to sound off about the dog waste in your yard, post something your neighbors may want to buy, or even get your teen a job mowing lawns, the Nextdoor app could be the perfect place.

Anne Crane lives in  Nocatee and has used it for several months.

"It's wonderful," Crane said. "I love being able to connect. If you have a question, need a dog sitter or a baby sitter, you can pop a question on there and you get five ten responses so it's really nice."

Crane helped to start a Nextdoor community in her Nocatee neighborhood. Hundreds living within her area now subscribe to get the notifications and to post. They say not only does it offer convenience but it also works a little like a neighborhood watch.

Libby Blumberg said, "I've definitely learned that the neighbors are watching, especially watching the children, and making sure that it's a family friendly neighborhood. We're watching for each other and if we see someone that doesn't seem right, we say something about it."  

Crane added, "There has been someone that got a couple door knocks at 4 o'clock in the morning and then they posted it on there just to kind of beware."

Channel 4 Crime & Safety Analyst Ken Jefferson believes it's a great tool.

"It's very important that neighbors and neighborhoods communicate with each other, so that everybody will be on the same page as to what's going on," said Jefferson.

Jefferson reminds everyone however, it should be used in addition to other things. Especially for those without a smart phone.

"Nothing ever beats the old fashioned way of picking up the telephone and neighbors alerting neighbors," he said.

It's free to sign up for Nextdoor and a lot of people in the Jacksonville area are already using it.

If you register from home with a device that has GPS, you can see easily see if one of your neighbors has already set one up for your area.  If not, it will walk you through the steps so you can set one up.

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