Nextdoor app adds sense of security for Boynton Beach neighborhoods

Posted at 10:57 PM, Jul 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-20 18:36:27-04
What if neighbors you've never met can tell you if there is danger nearby? Nearly 800 neighborhoods in Palm Beach County are using the app 'Nextdoor' to stay connected with their neighbors.

Without having to leave the comfort of her own home, Cheryl Hoebelheinrich has gotten to know most of her neighbors.

"A lot of people now I can call by name," said Hoebelheinrich.

Two years ago she was the only one in her Golfview Harbour Estates community on the app 'Nextdoor.' Now more than 300 people in the Boynton Beach neighborhood are using the app.

"So I see everything that people have posted today," said Hoebelheinrich. "Somebody needs a mechanic, furniture for sale, a couple new neighbors joined," she said while scrolling through her home page.

Nextdoor is a social network specifically for your neighborhood.

"There wasn't something that connected us to the most important place in our lives which is our community and our neighborhoods," said Jen Burke, Senior Communications Manager at Nextdoor. "So that's the whole goal of Nextdoor, to bring back that sense of community with the help of technology."

Besides being a chat room for neighbors, the app is increasing the sense of security in local neighborhoods.

The app actually lets you see who lives next door. Your neighborhood map shows you which neighbors are using the app. If you see something suspicious at their home, you can send them a private message after notifying police.

Boynton Beach police recently started using the app. Officers can now send direct messages to the 60 local neighborhoods participating. The department says the app is effectively preventing crime in certain communities.

Hoebelheinrich says the app even helped scare off possible car burglars spotted in her neighborhood.

"In just a matter of few seconds people in the neighborhood were aware of it, they ended up chasing off the people that were doing the robbing," she said.

In this day and age, Hoebelheinrich says she has peace of mind knowing there are neighbors she can help and trust.

"I may not personally know you or know where you live but I can help you avoid a dangerous situation if I can alert you somehow that things are going on," added Hoebelheinrich.

The app is free. In order to use it you must register and verify your address.