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BCSO partners with Nextdoor app to provide communities with live crime alerts

Sheriff hopes app with official information will help rumor control

SAN ANTONIO – The Bexar County Sheriff's Office announced a partnership with the Nextdoor app that will allow the sheriff's office to alert communities to crime or fugitives in the area, along with general crime prevention tips.

Sheriff Javier Salazar said that the sheriff's office intends on using the app as a tool to communicate updates on situations in the area. Salazar said the initiative will help with rumor control as residents will have official information on what's going on in their neighborhoods.

Currently, 1,350 area neighborhoods are connected on the Nextdoor app.The figure represents approximately 93 percent of all neighborhoods in the county.

 "It's exciting to us to be able to have this platform at our fingertips," Salazar said. "I want everybody in in Bexar County to know that we will be concentrating our efforts not just in the unincorporated areas -- but we've been making a pretty substantial effort getting involved in the incorporated areas of town as well. So, we want everyone to know that the Bexar County Sheriff's Office is establishing that presence on Nextdoor starting today."

Nextdoor’s senior city strategist, Robbie Turner said that the app assists local communities in combating crime and allows the neighborhood to establish a virtual community watch. Beginning Wednesday, the sheriff's office will be able to send alerts to specific neighborhoods, city council districts and the entire county.

Residents will also be able to forward messages to authorities through the app.

Turner said residents often use the app to talk about everyday things such as finding a baby sitter or a lost pet, but that the app also serves as a central location to communicate with neighbors about patterns in crime.

Each neighbor must verify that they live in the neighborhood, giving the app an extra layer of security and privacy. In addition to the verify feature

Turner said the tool is provided to the sheriff's office free of charge.