HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, N.J. -- The neighborhood watch approach to community policing in Hasbrouck Heights has rocketed into cyberspace.
A free, private social network called NextDoor gives residents the opportunity to connect online with their neighbors and borough police.
"Say there is a car sitting in front of your house and you are worried. You can post about it on the site and find out if anybody has any info," said Patrolman Brian Donohue, who is heading the rollout. "It forms this virtual community that lets people know about things in real time."
Each Hasbrouck Heights neighborhood has its own private Nextdoor neighborhood website, accessible only to residents of that neighborhood. All members' addresses must first be verified.
The sites can also be used for a variety of non-crime related tasks, such as finding a babysitter or planning a block party, Donohue said.
If enough people sign up, the entire borough can be connected, he said.
"In the future maybe the Recreation Department and the Board of Health and other departments will have their own NextDoor page so that residents can communicate with the entire town," Donohue said. "It involves everyone more in the town and that is a good thing."
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