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The Riley County Police Department has partnered with Nextdoor.com as well as the Manhattan Fire Department, Riley County Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Riley County Emergency Management, and the City of Manhattan to bring a robust online community program to the residents of Manhattan and Riley County. Each agency will use Nextdoor in different ways and RCPD plans to replace the neighborhood watch program with this new and more efficient service. The police department's use of Nextdoor will work hand-in-hand with the nextcoffee program to help reach the section of the community that doesn't currently utilize social media applications or the internet.
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This free service can be set up in a few simple steps: go to Nextdoor.com to create an account. During this process, you will be asked to verify your address in one of several ways and once approved you will be assigned to a neighborhood. At this time you can begin being social with your community on Nextdoor. Neighborhoods are generally larger portions of the city or county so we encourage you to create smaller more defined groups within your neighborhood. These groups could be used to connect neighbors on a certain street or within a certain town inside of Riley, County.
Since this is an online service we still suggest that it is used responsibly, however, the Riley County Police Department isn't going to tell you what you can and can't post (for more information visit Nextdoor.com). Many neighborhoods around the nation have used this service to post flyers for lost pets, set up garage sales, help prevent crime, and communicate with emergency services (and in Manhattan, community members will be able to communicate the City of Manhattan who will be one of the first cities to embrace the program in this way). Most importantly this service can be used to communicate with neighbors. Find a recommendation for a babysitter, organize a block party, and much more. Nextdoor users can post information to their neighborhood or surrounding neighborhoods as well as send private messages.
Starting in January 2015, the Riley County Police Department will have completely replaced the neighborhood watch program. RCPD has chosen Nextdoor for its community tools and the ability to be used for several different tasks. RCPD's Public Information Officer will post regularly about community safety tips, just as would have been done in neighborhood watch prior to this switch. The key concept to neighborhood watch is the fact that neighbors take ownership and pride in their community; this program bolsters communication and ownership.
Nextdoor has an excellent customer support and has worked hard to bring such a great service to our community. All issues with this service should be directed to Nextdoor.com. Common issues as the program starts up in our community is neighborhood names, these can be changed by the company in most cases.