SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - A private social network just for your neighborhood -- that's what Nextdoor.com offers. Only one other county in California uses it and Thursday the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department launched the site.
"It allows you to have the kind of information you would pass around at a community roundtable, but it's password-protected and it's accessible anytime, so rather than information on the Internet where anyone can access it, you have to verify that you're a member of that neighborhood and it only goes to members of that neighborhood," said Deputy Ryan Kennedy, Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department public information officer.
Kennedy said there are times the department needs to send a message out to a specific neighborhood, like be on the lookouts, or a spike in crimes. The site will allow them to efficiently get the word directly to those who need to know.
"A lot of times when analyzing crime or just getting to know our community better, it's very helpful to have an Internet-based product," said Kennedy.
There are 63 different communities in the County of Santa Cruz. The goal for the Sheriff's Department is to get all of those neighborhoods actively involved on the site.
The site is free and only lets you sign up for the community you live in.
On the site neighbors can post about yard sales, lost pets, anything relevant to their community. Deputies will use it to tie a stronger bond with the community they serve.
"Using Nextdoor is a move to personalize it again, bring it right back to your neighborhood, and that's what we want to do," said Kennedy.
For more information on the site click here.