Taking the "old school" neighborhood watch to the next level - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Taking the "old school" neighborhood watch to the next level

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

There is a way to protect your property and each other by taking the "old school" neighborhood watch to the next level.

There are now new and innovative ways you can help fight crime in your neighborhood.

Robberies, burglaries, petty theft all can be reported on NextDoor.com. The free, online forum lets neighbors post to a webpage only the people who live in their neighborhood can see.

Local law enforcement agencies are even getting in on the action.

"I can target specific neighborhoods to get info out there and send it out just specifically to our city," Lieutenant Todd Halbert with the Bartlett Police Department said.
 
Before registering an account, you'll need to verify your home address on the website through a credit card or a confirmation code mailed or texted to you.

Once you're confirmed, NextDoor provides registered users with a list of neighbors who have also registered. Empowerment comes from sharing crime concerns or anything else with the real eyes and ears in your specific neighborhood.

Colonial Acres neighbors take a similar approach through Facebook.

"It's a way of communicating and staying in touch with your neighbors about common concerns," Ron Buck said.

Buck heads up the Colonial Acres Neighborhood Watch Facebook page. The page has more than 1800 followers, and back in April, victims hit by car burglars posted to the page warning other residents to protect their vehicles.

"Leaving lights on at night, keeping valuables out of sight in your car, keeping cars locked,” Buck said about ways to keep the neighborhood safe.

Families who live in Central Gardens may be some of the most connected in the Mid-South.

For years they've used email newsletters to empower neighbors with safety and security information.

"When a neighborhood is paying attention, a lot of times it's visible too and I think that does work as a deterrent," Central Gardens resident Justice Natchez said.

Central Gardens also supports NextDoor.com - and prides itself on having the largest NextDoor group in the state of Tennessee.

"Sometimes locks don't work, sometimes alarms don't go off so you have to watch out for each other in all instances," another Central Gardens resident said.

That includes paying for private security patrols for more than 10 years. Since the patrols first started, the neighborhood has seen a 70 percent drop in reported crime.

Below are additional web links you can use to find out more about protecting your neighborhood from crime:

Memphis Neighborhood Watch resources

Getting started with NextDoor.com

Checklist for starting a Neighborhood Watch

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