The department patrols some 300 square miles of unincorporated territory and response times can be painfully slow. The territory includes Felton, Boulder Creek, Aptos, Davenport, Soquel and areas around Watsonville. This is a way, they say, to have a neighborhood watch online.
Here's the press release:
On January 2nd 2014, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office will begin using Nextdoor, the private social network for neighborhoods, to foster neighborhood-to-neighbor and countywide communication. Residents in the unincorporated areas of Santa Cruz can use Nextdoor to share information about neighborhood watch and safety issues, local events, school activities, upcoming garage sales, lost pets and much more.
Nextdoor is free for the residents and designed to make neighbors feel more comfortable sharing information with one another to help build stronger communities. All members must verify that they live within the neighborhood and shared information is password protected, preventing access by those outside the neighborhood.
Individual neighborhoods establish and self manage their own Nextdoor website. The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office will be able to post important information, such as crime and safety updates or local events, to Nextdoor sites. The Sheriff’s Office will not be able to access resident’s websites, contact information or content.
The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s is the second sheriff’s office within California to map the unincorporated geographical area. Currently in Santa Cruz County, 63 neighborhoods have been launched, 12 remain in pilot, and 32 are not currently in use