by: Catherine Bilkey Updated:
CONCORD, N.C. - The City of Concord says it's helping neighbors get to know each other and look out for one another.
The city started using Nextdoor, a social network for neighborhoods Friday, joining more than 120 cities nationwide doing the same.
"It's kind of like Facebook but only specifically for neighborhoods," Concord's Community Outreach Coordinator Cherie Jzar said.
She says Nextdoor will tighten communities by spreading the word about events, even road closures. City leaders also believe it can help fight crime.
"When more neighbors are communicating with each other, they're looking out for each other," Jzar said. "They're reporting things to one another."
Police reports show car break-ins, burglaries, and in the Gibson Village neighborhood, even prostitution next to a school. Nextdoor advocates say now neighbors can tell each other online about crime in the area and maybe warn each other before they come across it.
"Anything we can do to move it somewhere else or displace it," Neighbor Jon Mullis said. "Absolutely—that's a good thing."
Mullis doesn't want to see people soliciting in the same neighborhood where his kids play or committing any crimes for that matter. He hopes Nextdoor will help.
"Everybody doesn't know everybody," Mullis said. "If we can log on to a site like that and be able to communicate back and forth and express concerns, I'm sure it'll be helpful."
Charlotte has also been using Nextdoor. All members have to verify that they live in the area, and they cannot see posts from other neighborhoods. The city can share information with the neighbors.
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