One of the great benefits of having a neighborhood website is that you can instantly communicate with everyone in the neighborhood via email. This is useful for many reasons, but it’s most important when it comes to safety.
Take Riss Lake for example, a community of approximately 700 single-family homes. In a community of that size, it’s difficult to communicate in a timely manner, which is one of the reasons that the signed up to utilize our online service.
They now have 469 registered users, which represents about 65% of the community.
Not long after launching the website a series of break-ins occurred, and they decided to report them on the website to prevent further attacks. They put together a quick email the same day that the break-in was reported, which I copied below:
“On November 28, 2006 a home in Riss Lake was broken into and the owner was home. Three men used a screwdriver to break into the basement door and took the homeowners purse. The police were called and a description was provided of the vehicle. The good news is the police stopped the vehicle and found the owners purse in their car.
Please watch for any suspicious activity in the neighborhood and do not hesitate to call 9-1-1. If you are not home let a neighbor know so they can help watch your property, pick up newspapers left in driveways, packages left on front porches all a sign that no one is home.”
The example above shows how communication can keep the neighborhood safe. Without the ability to communicate this information, incidents like these can continue to occur without anyone even knowing about it, and in turn, no action can be taken to prevent future incidents. Neighborhood watch programs are based on this principal of communication and collaboration.
Our “Bulletins” feature allows you to send out emails like this to the entire neighborhood instantly. This is a great safety feature, but also allows you to communicate other time-sensitive information like impromptu events or cancellations.
I do want to mention that by all accounts Riss Lake is a very safe neighborhood, and this was an extremely rare incident. However, the community is now safer with an established online communication channel.