Neighbors fight crime with social media

Nextdoor, Facebook help keep residents informed

By Stephanie Serna - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - When one person sees something suspicious and shares it on a web site, everyone sees it.

Many people are turning to social networking sites like Nextdoor and Facebook  to keep their neighbors informed.

Terrell Hills resident Leslie Mullins said she's been on Nextdoor for two years and that when there's crime in her neighborhood she's one of the first to know.

"I saw the post that there was a little bit of criminal activity in the area," Mullins said. "So it made me a little more aware of what was going on and a little more diligent that we keep our garage doors locked and our cars locked."

The sites have also been helping local police departments.

"Just this morning, I was able to post that there was a small rash of burglaries," Terrell Hills Assistant Police Chief Bill Foley said.

Foley said the department has been using Facebook and Nextdoor and that on Nextdoor, they are connected to more than 815 residents.

"It's nice to be able to post that information so that neighbors can see, No. 1, this is happening and No. 2, what your police department is doing," Foley said. "We're stepping up patrols and we're going out making contacts trying to take the opportunity out of crime."

Foley said what neighbors post may help spread the word. Posts may also get feedback from others neighbors, who can tell you they're seeing the same thing.

While Foley is encouraging his residents to get on Nextdoor, he is also reminding them that it's OK to pick up the phone and call the Police Department.

"In the City of Terrell Hills, if you see something that makes you go, 'Hmmm' we want you to call us," Foley said. "We have a non-emergency number, 824-1009, and if it's just something that doesn't seem right to you, we want you to call us."

Following is a list of non-emergency numbers for local police departments:

  • Terrell Hills Police Department: (210) 824-1009
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  • San Antonio Police Department: (210) 207-7273
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  • Alamo Heights Police Department: (210) 822-3321
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  • Leon Valley Police Department: (210) 684-3215
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  • Olmos Park Police Department: 210-822-2000
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  • Castle Hills Police Department: (210) 342-2341
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  • Windcrest Police Department: (210) 655-2666
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  • Converse Police Department: (210) 658-0898

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