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(HOUSTON) — We’ve outlined how Facebook can be used as a crime-fighting tool, but it is not the only digital platform that can help subdivisions build electronic connections between neighbors in an effort to fight crime.

Facebook is designed for international networking, but Next Door is set up just for neighbors.

In fact, both the City of Houston and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office have hooked up with Next Door because it’s simple to set up and use and it includes some excellent tools.

TUTORIAL: How to Join ‘Next Door’

“Using Next Door, for example, we’re able to shoot out information instantly, either via the next door platform or through the Next Door SMS feature,” said HCSO social media guru Parisa Safarzadeh.

Safarzadeh says you don’t have to be a computer wizard to use Next Door.

SEE MORE: NEWS 92 FM and Crime Stoppers of Houston’s CRIME BUSTERS Page

“Go to, type in your address and it will automatically pull up your neighborhood,” Safarzadeh said. “If it’s already been started there you can join. If it hasn’t, it gives you the steps on how to start.”

The Braeburn Valley subdivision is in southwest Houston, and Homeowners Association President Carol Anderson gets a summary of reports and messages from the neighborhood via email. She says she very much likes the way it works.

“It certainly does heighten everybody’s awareness of something going on,” she said.

But Safarzadeh emphasizes, no matter whether you use Facebook or Next Door, it’s important to start with a Neighborhood Crime Watch, set up with the help of police officers or deputies.


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‘Next Door’ Offers Digital Platform to Unite Neighbors Against Crime  was originally published on