City starts using social networking site to connect with community

Posted at 2:01 PM, May 10, 2017
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:30:48-04

The City of Temple recently joined a social networking site that allows them to connect with residents living in different neighborhoods.

According to a city spokeswoman, the site will be used to as another avenue share information relevant to a specific neighborhood, including a boil order notice.

The Temple Police Department has used the social networking site Nextdoor for two years to alert residents about crime trends and scam alerts.

"If we see a spike in car burglaries in one neighborhood. We can post on that neighborhood specifically and maybe one or two neighborhoods around it," Temple Police Officer with Community Oriented Services Unit Jesse Fugitt said.

Currenly, there are 52 neighborhoods active on that site the department interacts with.

"The purpose was to most effectively communicate with our neighborhood watch groups. Sometimes find it hard to get together and meet in person. People are much likely to use like a Facebook type app for their smart phones," Fugitt said.

Janet Sandlin who lives in a South Temple neighborhood has seen the alerts posted by police. In addition, she posted on the site about a car break-in after she reported it to police. 

"Several people were very sympathetic about it. People giving me solutions like a camera, motion lights," Sandlin said. "Just a good feeling that you are part of a community when there is some part of response at all. You're irritated that it happened and you don't want your next door neighbor to be a victim."

She thinks the city joining Nextdoor will be a benefit.

"I appreciate the city is posting general information, alerts," Sandlin said.

Although Fugitt said the site has been very helpful to communicate with the community, he warned it should not be a substitute for calling police to provide tips because the site is not monitored at all times of the day.

"We've seen people message us about a suspicious vehicle in their neighborhood or suspicious activity. That's not something we can respond in a timely manner so we encourage people to dial 911 or call the non-emergency number," Fugitt said.

The police department still intends to use its Facebook page for news and important announcements. The City of Temple also plans to continue using other tools to let people know about upcoming events.

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