Now, the Sheriff’s Office can send crime prevention tips, meeting announcements and bulletins to Nextdoor users. The Sheriff’s Office can communicate with all users in Snohomish County or it can focus its messages to a specific community or communities. While the Sheriff’s Office is early in its use of Nextdoor, this gives the Sheriff’s Office a new capability to communicate with the public. For example, if it is looking for a suspect in a specific area it can send an alert to that area and to surrounding areas. Also, if it sees a trend of increased burglaries in an area, it can send an alert with some crime prevention reminders to that area.
The Sheriff’s Office cannot see posts within each member neighborhood. It can receive direct messages from the members of each neighborhood and can see replies or comments to its posts. This communications remains private for the Sheriff’s Office and for individuals within each neighborhood group.
Comment: This is a major improvement for the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office in its capability to communicate with the public. Its announcement on Facebook pointed out that there are currently 147 Snohomish County neighborhoods on Nextdoor. That includes over 123,000 households out of an unincorporated population of over 306,000. Long time Neighborhood Watch Captains have understood the cumbersomeness of communicating with the Sheriff’s Office in many situations. This initiative should improve the Sheriff’s Office’s capability to make us aware of crimes, give us practical and timely information to protect ourselves, and give the Sheriff’s Office an improved capability to ensure our safety. Modern policing emphasizes working with citizens not only to put criminals away, but to take away the underlying causes of crime. This initiative is a new tool to put that vision into practice.
Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office: