Next Door app

Next Door: New App for Safety

In Buzz, December 2015 / January 2016 by Leo SuarezLeave a Comment

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The sound of gunshots while sleeping in the early morning made me spring to attention.

“Not again,” said my wife as I reached for the phone to call 911. A string of incidents through the month of September left me and other neighbors wondering if our neighborhood, Thompson-Hunter, was falling back to the days, decades ago, when crime was common.

But after a week of calls, I was starting to wonder if they were making a difference. Neighbors on our Facebook group kept asking: “Did they ever find the cause?” No one seemed to know.

Then I got a call from our district police officer who wanted to chat about what neighbors were seeing and hearing. In October, about 50 of us packed a meeting room at a local church. We all wanted to know what else we could do.

The non-emergency number was an option or we could join the online community of Next Door, where the Raleigh Police were already talking.

We decided to move our online conversations to Next Door to mesh with the city’s ongoing digital efforts. Since then, the gunshots have stopped, and we’re all sleeping a little easier.

What is Next Door?

It’s a free social network ( that connects people who live in the same neighborhood and those nearby. In May, the Raleigh Police Department launched a partnership with Next Door.

“The best indication of its effectiveness probably rests with the anecdotal feedback we’re getting from district commanders and district community policing officers, who are the folks actually using the system on a daily basis,” says Jim Sughrue, director of Public Affairs for RPD.

“They report they’re getting tailored crime prevention information to more people and seeing expanded connections with their respective communities.”

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