DELAWARE COUNTY

Police partner with website to connect neighbors

LANSDOWNE Police in Lansdowne have a new kind of neighborhood watch system, through a company that uses social networking to connect neighborhoods.

The borough is partnering with the social networking website Nextdoor.com.

Nextdoor has sites for each neighborhood in Lansdowne, and residents must verify their addresses to begin connecting with neighbors, said Police Chief Dan Donegan.

"Basically, you get residents connecting with their neighbors," Donegan said, and reporting information to each other, such as lost pets.

By partnering with Nextdoor, the department can share information with residents in the entire borough, or target its posts to specific neighborhoods. Donegan said he will use it to interact with residents about incidents or events. But it will not replace 911, he said.

"You don't use Nextdoor to try to report crimes in progress," Donegan said.

While the San Francisco-based company already has users around the country, including more than 200 in Philadelphia, Nextdoor said Lansdowne is the second police department in Pennsylvania to partner with the site. The other is Castle Shannon Borough in Allegheny County.

- Laura McCrystal