NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Neighbors are turning to a new app to get the word out about crime in their communities, and now the City of New Orleans and the NOPD are also signing on.
The app is called Nextdoor. It allows users to communicate online with their neighbors about everything from lost pets to recent crime in their neighborhoods.
Nextdoor says each neighborhood manages its own website, and before joining, members must use their real names to sign up and verify their addresses.
"The good thing about it is it's an instant notification, so if there is something city-wide coming through you can pull it up and you can see what's going on, or even if it's just something within your tight neighborhood," said Tulane University social media expert Ashley Nelson.
New Orleans police say it's "another way to communicate with citizens and to target information to specific police districts and neighborhoods."
A Nextdoor spokesperson said the partnership will allow city officials to send messages to more than 130 neighborhoods in the New Orleans area about services, free events or emergency notifications. But, we're told city officials won't be able to access neighbors' contact information or content.
"We're a society where we are on our phones, we're not outside talking to people like we used to be, and our kids aren't riding bicycles all over the neighborhood like the way we grew up. So, again, going back to the way we're communicating, a lot of it's through our phones and our computers and it's just another way to reach us using that technology," Nelson said.
Nelson said while Nextdoor is another good way to communicate, she cautions that people should be careful about posting personal information on the site, adding that goes for all social media.
New Orleans police say they will not have access to anyone's profile on Nextdoor. They'll just be able to use the app to post messages on their page and accept comments.