“This collective mentality that Nextdoor allows us from a crime and public safety standpoint is really beneficial,” says Goodroe. “It alerts neighbors of all ages and backgrounds to what’s out there.”
In the first wave of online social crime-fighting, police used networks like Facebook and Twitter to ask for help identifying images of suspects and to broadcast messages over a large area like an entire city. Now a new, more targeted set of networks like Nextdoor are allowing residents to better police themselves and police to reach residents more efficiently. “What we saw happening very early on with Nextdoor is people were coming to us saying, ‘We’d like to be able to include our local police officer in our neighborhood,’” says co-founder Sarah Leary, who estimates about 20 percent of Nextdoor content is related to crime and safety.