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New app allows a virtual, real-time neighborhood watch

Updated: Wednesday, October 30 2013, 10:08 PM CDT
Reported by: Kyle Rogers

LANCASTER -- Too frequently, somebody’s dog runs away in Bob Bovie’s neighborhood and almost 300 people know about it instantly.

The Nextdoor web site application allows those in a neighborhood to connect privately to each other on a network so they can stay informed on happenings in their neighborhood.

So when a pup goes missing, somebody can send an alert out to spot the dog and get it back to its rightful owner.

With growing popularity among neighborhoods in Central Pennsylvania, the website has also been valuable for residents when it comes to spotting crime and suspicious activity. 

According to statistics from the Pew Research Center, less than a third of Americans know their neighbor’s name.

Bovie, who described the web site as Facebook for neighborhoods, is a leader in his development for the program, alongside his wife. 

Nextdoor, launched throughout the country on Oct. 11, has more than 20,000 neighborhood websites, including 24 in Lancaster County. 

A couple of times of year, he said scammers come through the neighborhood.
“When we see them coming, we give the alert to the neighbors,” said Bovie. 

His wife, Sandy, said she checks the website daily. 

While crime is not a big problem in their neighborhood, there have been moments where people have used an instant notification to send alerts to the community to be on the look for somebody suspicious. 

Bob recalled a recent incident where somebody appeared to have broken into his neighbor’s home. 

“The person it happened to got on right away and sent out a note to be on the lookout,” said Bob. 

Aside from crime reporting, users frequently share everything from news updates about events happening in the community to asking those nearby for the best babysitter in the area. 

Nextdoor is free. Users must verify their address in the neighborhood before joining. 

For more information, visit
New app allows a virtual, real-time neighborhood watch

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