Chicago police using ‘Nextdoor’ for community outreach

By Stephanie Racine

 In an effort to improve communication with the public, Chicago police are now sending updates and posting messages through the online forum, Nextdoor.com.

On April 5, Sergeant Anthony Dombrowski, the community policing sergeant with the first district, announced on Nextdoor that he would be using the resource as a community outreach platform “to build community, improve quality of life and work together to make your neighborhood safer and stronger.”

Nextdoor is an online forum and social networking application made up of neighbors and community members who are vetted by submitting their addresses and phone numbers to the Nextdoor website—if you don’t have a valid New Eastside address, you won’t be able to join. Since posts can be limited to a certain neighborhood or district, New Eastside has its own message board where only members of our community can post or see messages.

Messages from first district officers will only be visible to Nextdoor users who sign up to receive them. Dombrowski also assured users in his post that interactions between members would not be monitored by police—only the comments on CPD’s posts will be visible to them.

Dombrowski used the platform again on May 1, to announce a reduction in crime in

the area. “During the month of April 2018 the 001st District had 40 percent fewer robberies and 20 percent fewer burglaries than compared to April 2017,” Drombrowski

wrote.

In his initial post, Dombroski emphasized that Nextdoor is not to be used in an emergency, and residents should still turn to 911 in a crisis. Non-emergency tips should be directed to the anonymous website CPDtip.com, or by texting 274637 (CRIMES). CPD will be monitoring Nextdoor infrequently and any other issues or questions should be directed to the CAPS office CAPS.001District@chicagopolice.org. Inquiries made by New Eastside News via Nextdoor were not returned.

Published May 9, 2018

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