OAKLAND - Oakland police said Thursday that they are partnering with the social media company Nextdoor to share information about neighborhood activities and help fight crime.
Speaking at a news conference at Mosswood Park, Oakland Police Chief Sean Whent said, "We will now be able to work together with residents on Nextdoor to improve safety and contribute to virtual neighborhood watch efforts."
Whent said the partnership makes it clear that "open and direct communication with the community has a lot of value for us."
Whent said, "Social media will help us take our communications to the next step so we can get more information out and establish more linkages with the community."
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said, "Joining Nextdoor is another way to further our efforts to make Oakland an even better place to live. Giving residents more avenues to easily and effectively connect with the Police Department and with each other about the things that matter most to their communities will create a safer, stronger Oakland."
Nextdoor, which is based in San Francisco and was founded in 2010, is a free and private social network for neighborhoods.
Nirav Tolia, the company's chief executive, said, "The City of Oakland understands the important role that technology can play in strengthening community relations and fighting crime. We're honored to partner with them in this effort."
Tolia said Nextdoor has partnerships with 32,000 neighborhoods in 50 states as well as partnerships with public agencies.
Mary Boergers, a member of a neighborhood group in Oakland's Adams Point area, said the partnership with Nextdoor "will be valuable in helping us to communicate with residents about what crimes are being committed and what actions police are taking."
She said, "It is giving us another tool as a community to make Oakland better and safer."
Oakland police officials said more than 140 neighborhoods, representing 84 percent of the city's neighborhoods, have started Nextdoor websites.
They said they have set a goal to have 90 percent of the city's neighborhoods on Nextdoor by the end of June.
Police officials said they will be able to post information such as important news, crime alerts and updates, and emergency notifications to Nextdoor websites in Oakland.
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