In an effort to bring neighbors, neighborhoods and public safety agencies together in a “virtual” type of Neighborhood Watch, Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott kicked off a new and innovative partnership last week between the agency and the online social networking site, Nextdoor (www.nextdoor.com).
The Sheriff’s Office is the first Southwest Florida law enforcement agency to partner with Nextdoor, giving participants in the program an opportunity to connect and collaborate with the agency in a way that hasn’t been done in our area before.
“Our agency has always invested in innovative ways to reach out to the community and increase the safety of our residents and seasonal visitors”, said Sheriff Scott. “With the use of Nextdoor, I believe we are taking Crime Prevention and Community Policing to another level, allowing us to reach residents quickly with valuable, sometimes urgent information.
Residents can participate by either joining an already existing private neighborhood website that’s available in their location, or if one does not already exist for their neighborhood, Nextdoor will allow a new one to be created. All of the information that is shared on Nextdoor is password protected; and profiles, content and private messages remain private and can’t be accessed by search engines, or seen by Sheriff’s Office personnel. It is important to note that Nextdoor is NOT the appropriate way to request emergency services, law enforcement assistance, or file a police report. As always, 911 is the number to call for emergency assistance.
Residents who participate in the Nextdoor program will receive valuable information from the Sheriff’s Office on topics such as safety and security tips, community events and workshops, crime bulletins specific to their area, alerts and emergency notifications. There is no charge to be a part of Nextdoor and the partnership comes at no cost to the County.
Visit www.nextdoor.com to see if your neighborhood is already participating in the program, or to find out more information on how to start your own. Additional inquiries can be made to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Community Relations Unit at 258-3280.