The New Jersey Transit Police Department partnered with Nextdoor, a global, private social network for neighborhoods, to utilize the social media app to help increase active “eyes and ears’’ surrounding NJ TRANSIT’s infrastructure.
“Safety is the number one priority for NJ TRANSIT,’’ said Executive Director Kevin Corbett. “The New Jersey Transit Police Department is continually looking at innovative strategies to maintain a safe and secure transit system and is the first transit police department to leverage the Nextdoor neighborhood social network. It will improve direct communication for both sides by allowing the sharing of vital information. Residents will have a chance to express their concerns regarding safety to the very officers who patrol and command their ‘home turf.’ It is a win-win situation.’’
This first-of-its-kind partnership between the New Jersey Transit Police Department and Nextdoor will enhance community policing by helping decrease rail line crime and accidents and promote interaction between those who live within a close proximity to NJ TRANSIT rail and light rail lines and stations, and bus terminals.
“NJ TRANSIT understands how important it is to maintain positive relationships with the local communities we serve,’’ said New Jersey Transit Police Chief Christopher Trucillo. “By utilizing the Nextdoor network, the members of the New Jersey Transit Police Department will be able to directly communicate with our unofficial ‘eyes and ears,’ the members of the communities we serve. At NJ TRANSIT, we see the partnership with Nextdoor as a tool to strengthen our connections to these local communities, and it gives our neighbors a way to get to know the men and women of the New Jersey Transit Police Department.’’
The New Jersey Transit Police Department will not be able to access residents’ network information or content on Nextdoor.
With access to Nextdoor’s public agency platform, the New Jersey Transit Police Department will be able to geo-target Nextdoor residents who live within a one-mile radius of rail and light rail lines and stations, and bus terminals to:
- Inform nearby residents of criminal activity such as theft and vandalism.
- Educate residents on how to report suspicious activity.
- Provide educational information on how to teach children about the dangers of railroad tracks.
- Increase the number of residents who interact with New Jersey Transit Police officers who patrol nearby stations and terminals.
Nextdoor is free for residents and the New Jersey Transit Police Department.
Founded in 2010, Nextdoor is a private, hyperlocal social network for neighborhoods used by verified NJ residents. Local residents use Nextdoor for a variety of things such as finding a babysitter to addressing crime and quality-of-life concerns.
This past spring, the New Jersey Transit Police Department conducted a pilot test of the platform for neighborhoods along the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail and Morris & Essex stations. Feedback indicated that neighbors were overwhelming in favor of the partnership.