Police: Facebook Watch Groups Are A Benefit To Crime Prevention

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Neighborhood watch groups on social media sites are helping with crime prevention. According to Nashville Police, although hard to quantify, having eyes and ears that are aware of crime in the community helps their response be more thorough.

There are several groups with membership reaching as much as 6,000 members or more on Facebook. The Madison Tennessee Neighborhood Watch page started in November. Since then, it's grown to more than 1,500 members. The administrator of the page, Skott Wellbrock said the page is open to anyone.

"I've always just felt that things like Facebook are just such a great way to connect like never before," Wellbrock said. "By using a phone or something like that, you're instantly connected to people who share the same concerns and have similar vested interests."

Metro Nashville Police agree, information from the community allows them to do a more thorough job.

"The more we've got neighbors that are very proactive about looking out for each other in their own communities, that just serves better for all of us," said community engagement officer Mike Fisher. "So, then you've got all of these other eyes and ears. So, you've got all these other eyes and ears, looking for the same thing. Now, we've got that many more resources if they recognize something that a private citizen has put out as a report."

Fisher said crime in East Nashville is actually down, but activity in East Nashville Neighborhood Watch is rather high. He attributes this to people being dialed into what's happening in their neighborhood, not a crime wave.


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