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Speedway, Indy using Nextdoor to connect communities

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis is now joining a growing list of major cities that are partnering with a private social network called Nextdoor.

It’s a private social network for your neighborhood. You can log on using your computer or you can download the app onto your phone.

The City of Indianapolis wants to use Nextdoor as a tool to connect with residents in different communities.

“Anywhere there’s enhancing communication with the government or city is a good thing,” said Andrew Frye, a Nextdoor member.

The popular private social network is catching the attention of city leaders across the country, including Mayor Greg Ballard.

A spokesperson for the mayor’s office says the city is planning to use Nextdoor to share important information about public meetings, events, and alerts to residents.

“A lot of times we’re posting things we read it somewhere else or second hand,” said Frye. “If the city is out there directly they have a little bit better control over what gets posted.”

More than 355 neighborhoods in Indianapolis, about 65 percent of the city are registered on Nextdoor. Some members are already using it as a crime watch tool.

The Indianapolis Metro Police Department is looking into the idea, but for the Speedway Police Department, they’re already on board.

“Use it for alerts for the citizens of Speedway anything from a road closure due to a water main break or we’re using it to alert them of robberies in the area listing suspect descriptions on there,” said Sgt. Mirantha Wilson, of the Speedway Police Department.

Wilson said her department started using Nextdoor last December. They’re seeing an increase in the number of members in the Speedway neighborhood.

“We know that the information is getting out there to everyone. We also like to use it for our neighborhood watch tool. We’re noticing more people are wanting to sign up for the neighborhood watch and attend the neighborhood watch meetings because of this,” said Wilson.

In order to sign up, new users must verify their home address to make sure they actually live in that neighborhood. Nextdoor will either call your home or cell phone, check the billing address for your credit card, or they can send you a post card with an access code.

For more information on Nextdoor, click here,