10,000 and counting

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Nextdoor program shows strength in numbers


SHALIMAR, Fla., Aug. 23, 2017–The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office virtual neighborhood watch program now has 10,000 local participants registered.

Last November, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office started a partnership with a private social network to create safer, stronger neighborhoods through a virtual neighborhood watch of sorts.

That joint effort with Nextdoor now officially has 10,000 local participants.

According to website information, Holt doesn’t have anyone registered in the program at this time.

The program allows the OCSO to communicate with specific neighborhoods to share information ranging from public safety alerts to lost pets.

Residents using Nextdoor also typically post local services, community events and other items of interest to their neighbors.

“From a law enforcement standpoint, Nextdoor is a great tool. It lets people know what’s happening where they live and allows them a chance to collaborate on neighborhood watch efforts to combat crime,” said Sheriff Larry Ashley.

Being able to better know neighbors and easily share information boosts safety and builds stronger neighborhood connections, he said.

“The OCSO can post information to Nextdoor websites, which is free for residents,” said OCSO Crime Prevention Manager Ashley Bailey. “For example, if burglars are targeting a specific area, we send alerts to those residents, remind them to take precautions and give them valuable burglary prevention tips.”

Each Okaloosa County neighborhood has its own private Nextdoor neighborhood website accessible only to residents of that neighborhood.

Neighborhoods establish and self-manage their own Nextdoor website and the Sheriff’s Office will not be able to access residents’ websites, contact information or content.

In addition all members have to verify that they live within the neighborhood and information shared is password protected and cannot be accessed by Google or other search engines.

To sign up or learn more about Nextdoor visit www.nextdoor.com or contact Crime Prevention Manager Ashley Bailey at 259-0031, or Crime Prevention Specialist Holly Esneul at 850-651-7410.

OSCO news release

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