Knepp: Keep an eye on ‘Next Door’

CAMBRIDGE — West End resident Barbara Knepp is urging neighbors to use the “Next Door” private social network app to keep informed on issues, including crime. She said the app is valuable in providing security, and in watching trends, such as the number of registered sex offenders living in Cambridge, especially in the West End.

Previous police chief Dan Dvorak established the app in the city, and when Ms. Knepp moved here in November of 2018, she became active with it.
“The police have been wonderful,” Ms. Knepp said, but she would like to see residents become more active.

“I would like to encourage people to sign up for the app,” she said. “I have noticed the membership has grown about 20 percent” just over the summer.
The app’s moderators don’t accept just anyone. Identification must be provided and confirmed, so that security is maintained.

In an email to the Banner, Ms. Knepp described some of the benefits of “Next Door,” not all of which are related to crime.

“In my immediate area we have 862 residents who monitor and contribute to the site on a regular basis,” she wrote. “We also post a daily crime report using the Lexus Nexus Crime Map. The site is also good for finding lost animals, advertising events, extreme weather updates, stolen bikes, and asking for referrals for plumbers, etc.”

She spoke about a recent incident in which 30 vehicles were vandalized. “The neighbors were exchanging info, pictures and reporting the details,” Ms. Knepp said.

The Cambridge Police Department reported the arrest of a juvenile in connection with the vandalism, and said more were expected.

About 300 residents of the West End have signed up for Next Door, and now Ms. Knepp is looking for more. “I know the power of it,” she said.

To learn more about the app, visit www.nextdoor.com.

Dave Ryan is editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at dryan@newszap.com.

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