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Duluth police debut new social media tool

The Duluth Police Department’s homepage features a link to the new ‘’ feature, where people can exchange information with neighbors and get alerts and information from police.

The Duluth Police Department has introduced a new social media website that they’re using to keep in touch with the community.

On Friday, the department declared its partnership with Nextdoor, a personal social network made specifically for residents to communicate with their neighbors and help establish a safer neighborhood.

“This is an easy way to reach out to people,” police Lt. Chad Nagorski said. “This will allow the city to help us be better at what we do.”

The free website allows neighborhood residents to share information on public safety issues, community activities, local services and more.

“This website can be used for multiple things,” Nagorski said. “Residents can find babysitters, look for lost dogs and so forth.”

Every neighborhood will have its own personal Nextdoor network, which only permits residents who can verify that they live in a specific neighborhood.

Each neighborhood must create and self-operate its own page. So far, 10 Duluth neighborhoods have launched Nextdoor websites.

While officers can post information on the website about safety tips, crime alerts and chat with neighborhood groups, they don’t have access to residents’ personal information.

“We have no control over the website,” Nagorski said. “We can’t see residents’ personal information.”

People can still use the Duluth Police Department’s Twitter and Facebook page to view crime alerts and safety tips. Nagorski said Nextdoor isn’t another Facebook.

“It’s different from other social media because we can communicate specifically to community members,” he said.

While police describe the website as essential, it won’t replace existing emergency response procedures.

“This doesn’t take the place of 911,” Nagorski said. “If there is an emergency, please call 911, because this website is not monitored regularly.”

To sign up for free and find your neighborhood, visit Residents also can download the Nextdoor app on their smartphones.