KC police, neighbors use app to fight crime

Posted at 3:38 PM, Jan 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-21 18:03:27-05

A torched back taillight: vandalism small enough to get away with, but big enough to make the victim take notice.

"It's cowardly and you are costing someone money, and if you are costing someone money, it's like you are stealing out of their own pocket," said Michael Thomas, a former sheriff and retired Afghanistan War veteran.

Thomas thought he might be the only one until he took those frustrations out online via the app Nextdoor. Nextdoor is a mobile app that connects people who live in the same neighborhood.

"It gave me motivation to become proactive with crime and watching out for the neighborhood," he said.

That's when he realized he wasn't alone. Dozens of people in his KCMO neighborhood had experienced the same thing - minor but expensive damage to their homes and cars all caused by vandals.
"I'm trying to get more active with the next-door act to communicate small vandalism in the neighborhood so people are aware and people are looking out for each other," said Thomas.

And he's not the only one. The Lenexa Police Department is one of the latest to use the online tool to connect with the community and spot trends in crime.

"Know your neighbors," said Officer Dan Friesen with LPD. "Know a little bit about them, know their names, know their general habits so it will be easier for you to recognize that something is wrong."

To not only fight crime, but also prevent it.

"We know if order to be effective crime fighters, we are going to need their help," said Friesen.

So just how do you use the app?

  1. Enter your street address and email address.
  2. Confirm you address.
  3. On the next page, enter your first and last name, along with your desired password.
  4. Click "Sign Up".
  5. Update your settings so that you can control who sees what information (like your last name and exact address).
    Note: You will have to verify your address before you can fully use Nextdoor.



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