Nextdoor uses social media to connect neighbors, police

Nextdoor uses social media to connect neighbors, police

Miami-Dade Police Maj. Hector Llevat explains Nextdoor.

As one of the newest online social networks, the growing Nextdoor neighborhood Internet link was described as a potential aid for Miami-Dade Police Department investigations.

“We are the first law enforcement agency that I am aware of to incorporate the program into our own outreach networking,” Maj. Hector Llevat told the West District Citizens Advisory Committee during a meeting on Jan. 27.

“Basically a grass roots movement, Nextdoor provides communications between neighborhoods for a variety of conveniences but it also gives police a new and immediate source of information that can lead to faster arrests as well as aid in crime prevention,” he said.

“The boundaries of a neighborhood are usually set by a single person who starts the network in a neighborhood,” Maj. Llevat said.

Already, 22,000 residents in various Miami-Dade Nextdoor networks are linked to the department’s Doral headquarters since the program’s development within the MDPD computer system

Nationwide, Nextdoor provides subscribers with website access to exchange information of local interest from “heads up” dates for community meetings to advertising garage sales and tutoring assistance.

Linkage by You Tube to the MDPD was begun in 2015 to the department’s computerized system, linking Nextdoor to help provide identities of known or suspected criminals and stolen vehicles.

An overview of MDPD community and outreach programming was given by Sgt. Joseph Bermudez, specialist in the Public Information and Education Bureau for community services.

Details were provided about such programs as STAND (Students Together Against Negative Decisions), an educational program in 27 Miami-Dade high schools in unincorporated areas to provide students and adults with special education on negative effects of alcoholism, texting while driving, bullying and other concerns.

A 60-foot tractor trailer available to school groups offers a DUI Mobile Education Center focused on middle and high school students to teach the consequences of underage drinking and driving, Sgt. Bermudez noted.

TV monitors aboard show videotapes of DUI crashes, statistics, hazards of alcohol and drugs, complete with “Fatal Vision Goggles” worn by viewers to simulate the effect of physical impairment caused by drinking.

Seminars are available conducted by state-certified crime prevention specialists in areas of personal safety, drugs and alcohol in the workplace, senior citizen safety, identity theft, Internet safety and other security issues.

For information about Nextdoor or availability of community outreach programs, contact MDPD at 305-471-1745.

The next meeting for the West District Citizens Advisory Committee is 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 24 at the West District Police Headquarters, 10000 SW 142 Ave. The public is welcome to attend.

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