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Online Community Forums Inspiring Neighbors To Organize Neighborhood Watch

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Online community forums are getting more and more popular and now, they are inspiring a group to meet in person, and start a neighborhood watch.

"I knew my neighbors' names when I grew up as a kid. I have no idea my neighbors' names now," said David Maurer.

For better or worse, things are changing, but Facebook groups and apps like Nextdoor are helping you connect to your neighbors again. You can post about suspicious people, crimes, even strange noises, and warn others.

"It's such a digital world now," Maurer said.

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But some say these posts also blow things out of proportion.

"All that stuff does is create drama in a neighborhood. When you hear about something years ago you wouldn't hear about but it works the whole neighborhood up," Sam Kingsbury said.

People living in downtown Sacramento say they've seen so many posts on their Nextdoor app, they are organizing a neighborhood watch. Police say online groups can be especially helpful in rural areas, but you're missing the personal connections that are really helpful spotting issues.

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"You go to work during the day, you're home at night. You go on a lot of vacations. So then when something happens in the neighborhood I can identify it as either odd or just normal coming and goings from your house," said Sgt. Tess Deterding, with the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.

Police are warning it's important to let your neighbors know what your group is planning and be careful who you put in charge.

"I think it's a little scary. I don't want people walking around patrolling," Kingsbury said.

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