Sara Winston was genuinely excited to learn Tampa Police joined Nextdoor a free social media app that provides information on services to safety.
"It's great communication is key," said Sara.
She knows first hand how invaluable the app can be. She and her neighbors rallied together and signed up after a series of burglaries in their neighborhood a couple months ago.
Sara's husband Ken remembers his wife calling him in a panic one afternoon when police had to lock down the area. She got the alert from a neighbor.
"There were a group of men police were looking for. She had to stay indoors and then let me know when everything was OK," said Ken.
Beginning March 7 police will now be able to communicate with the residents directly.
Tampa Police Chief Eric Ward send out the first message to the more than 22,000 people in Tampa on the Nextdoor app.
"Everyone needs to be on Nextdoor. The more we can communicate with the masses the safer people will be," said Ward.
It's just not limited to crime. Police will also be able to send out alerts when there's severe weather or road closures.
Right now 78 percent of neighborhoods in Tampa are signed up on Nextdoor.
Chief Ward hopes after this report there will be thousands more.
The Winston's said they are thankful that police are keeping up with the growing needs of the community and with social media.
"It's not the way it was when I was growing up. Now everyone is looking at their phone," said Ken.
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