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Nextdoor.com provides a safe way to connect with neighbors

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LAVEEN, Ariz. -

Getting to know your neighbors. It's something a lot of people don't make the time or effort to do. But a website is making that easier.

We talked to people who are using a new website in one west valley neighborhood.

That website is called nextdoor.com. Think of it as a Facebook page for your neighborhood -- but this is a private website only you and your neighbors can access with a password.

People using it say not only is it helping connect neighborhoods, it's also making them safer.

People in this Laveen neighborhood are going hi-tech when it comes to getting to know their neighbors, thanks to nextdoor.com.

"Like a social media site but it's restricted, so it allows people in the community to communicate and share ideas and talk about what's going on, in a private setting," says Scott Winter, president of the HOA for the Laveen Village Community.

He says nextdoor.com brings people together and helps keep their neighborhood safe.

"If something is going on in the community -- there's a suspicious person walking by -- you can do an urgent alert and it will blast out a text message to everyone who's signed up for that."

In fact, one of those urgent alerts that went out recently led to burglary suspects being arrested.

"We've actually caught a couple of folks red-handed as they were breaking into a house through the community involvement," says Winter.

But it's not all about crime. The site also connects people looking for maintenance referrals or even trying to find a babysitter or a lost dog. Or you can use it to put the word out for neighborhood gatherings.

"We have events like movies in the park, we've had a couple of those -- and because of nextdoor we have well over 200 people showing up which I think is phenomenal," says Randy Jones, captain of the block watch.

The website helps bring in business for handymen and pool cleaners in the neighborhood after getting referrals from other neighbors.

There are nearly 100 nextdoor neighborhoods in the Phoenix area. If you want to start one up, just go the website nextdoor.com.

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