Indy neighborhoods find new online option for personal, public safety

Nextdoor.com offers safe way to stay connected

INDIANAPOLIS - Local residents have found a new way to meet neighbors, improve their personal safety and warn others of dangers around the neighborhood.

The private online community could save you money and also help protect your home.

When it comes to the latest happenings on her block, Katherine Kidd goes right to her computer.

Kidd lives in the Meridian-Kessler neighborhood. She and at least 60 other homeowners stay connected through the website Nextdoor.com.

"I feel doors are open that normally would not be opened. I think people watch out for more," Kidd said.

The free social media site is based on addresses and is neighborhood-specific. Users must use their real names.

It is a place where neighbors can describe strangers going door to door or make recommendations on who to hire.

"When you sign up, you have to be invited, and fill out profile as much as you want," Kidd said.

Near downtown, in the Herron-Morton area, Jeanne Chandler warned neighbors several weeks ago about potential safety issues.

"We keep each other appraised about petty crimes," Chandler said.

The website is a marketplace where people have no reason to fear the seller.

"It's not anonymous like Craigslist or Yahoo. You have to be a neighbor to sign up so you know who are you are dealing with," Chandler said.

More than 220 neighborhoods in and around Indianapolis have created their own Nextdoor communities.

Nextdoor officials said they have no plans to charge for their service.

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