Bay Area neighborhoods are going social to try and take a "byte" out of crime.
Oakland has joined cities like San Jose and Palo Alto, hooking up with social networking site Nextdoor to use information as a tool to try and keep their neighborhoods safe. Staff may be cut, but the internet is thriving.
“The City of Oakland understands the important role that technology can play in strengthening community relations and fighting crime," Nextdoor CEO Nirav Tolia said.
Essentially, Nextdoor lets neighbors report suspicious activity to the local PD; the officers know, and so do others living in the area.
The police department from another big Bay Area city, San Jose, has been involved with Nextdoor for two years now, and neighbors say they're happy about it.
Darryl Ospring, a neighborhood activist in her own right, says the Nextdoor network has helped her area through tough times, including a homicide investigation.
"When we found Nextdoor, it was one of the best things to happen in our neighborhood," Ospring said.
It's tough to quantify just how, or even if, a social-networked neighborhood can cut back on crime. But there has always been something positive about knowing your neighbors. And it seems a bit of technology in the mix is helping residents feel a little safer about where they live.
Scott is on Twitter: @scottbudman