By Melissa Lampert
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station officials are encouraging the SCV community to connect with their neighbors on their smartphone or computer by joining a private social network called ‘Nextdoor.’
The San Francisco-based company was launched in 2010 with a mission to provide residents with a free platform to build stronger and safer neighborhoods worldwide. Almost 100,000 neighborhoods in the United States are currently part of the Nextdoor network– including many from the SCV.
“It’s a way that you can share information– even form a virtual ‘neighborhood watch’ program with your neighbors,” said Shirley Miller, public information officer for the SCV Sheriff’s Station. “It’s just a good way to connect.”
Every deputy from the station’s crime prevention unit is a member of the Nextdoor network, allowing them to send public safety messages to local users based on their neighborhood.
“All of our deputies, the (Sheriff’s) department in general is endorsing Nextdoor as a way to put messages out,” Miller said.
For instance, if a high number of vehicles are burglarized in a specific neighborhood in Santa Clarita, deputies can alert residents via email or text and remind them to bring their valuables inside and lock their vehicle’s doors.
“If you live over in the Summit in Valencia or if you live in a neighborhood in Canyon Country, we’re able to single that message down,” Miller explained.
Addressing individuals who may be concerned about privacy, Miller explained that deputies cannot view private conversations between neighbors.
“We can’t see what you’re talking about,” she said. “If you’re talking to your neighbor, sharing information, unless you let us know about it, it is private what you’re doing on there… (We) absolutely encourage you to do it.”
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