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Nextdoor Wants to Be a One-Stop Shop for Police

The neighborhood social network’s new app is aimed at public agencies, and it lets local law enforcement more easily tap into the online community.
Nextdoor's new mobile app is designed to be used by police officers and other city officials.
Nextdoor's new mobile app is designed to be used by police officers and other city officials.Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

In September, a man carrying a machete and a crowbar walked into the Chapel of the Holy Hill in Sedona, Arizona, and started destroying things. He turned out to be a follower of QAnon, the far-right conspiracy group behind the 2016 “Pizzagate” shooting, as The Daily Beast later reported. His vandalism rampage was captured in photos and video by tourists; hours after the incident, the alleged attacker was arrested by police.

How did the cops close in so quickly? Sedona police chief Charles Husted credits Nextdoor, the neighbor-to-neighbor social-media platform. Within 20 minutes of the incident, Husted posted an “urgent alert” with a photo and description of the suspect on Sedona’s Nextdoor account. That post swiftly circulated through the city as neighbors shared it, reposted it on other social media platforms, and sent it to their friends. Soon, a shopkeeper who’d been sent the post by her mom realized she’d seen the man in questionand called 911. “It was perfect,” Husted said.