Social media helps new, old neighbors protect each other

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – As the number of people moving to Middle Tennessee continues to grow, neighborhoods are turning to social media as a way to stay connected and notify each other about crime in the community.

The Donelson Neighborhood Watch Network on Facebook has more than 6,700 members and includes things like alerts and information and crime in the area.

Frank Trew is the President and Founder of Hip Donelson, a nonprofit organization that is focused on issues impacting the Donelson area. Hip Donelson started in 2009, and the neighborhood watch group formed in 2010.

”Community policing is something you hear police talk about all the time,” Trew said. “We want more eyes on the road and more eyes looking out for your neighbors.”

On the Donelson Neighborhood Network page, members post information about suspicious activities, crimes that have taken place and alerts from police about people to be looking for in the area.

“We have someone for instance on the Donelson Neighborhood Watch Network who is a retiree,” Trew said. “She listens to the scanner constantly and reports when she hears something that needs to be reported.”

In September, Realtor.com listed Donelson as one of the hottest 15 zip codes in the country.

With the influx of new people, tools to connect new neighbors are even more valuable, according to Metro-Nashville District 15 Councilman, who represents the Donelson area, Jeff Syracuse.

“We have really banded together,” he said. “We take care of each other, that is the back bone of a good neighborhood watch.”

In addition to Facebook, pages like on Nextdoor.com also connects neighbors to each other.

Police told News 2 they encourage neighbors to stay in communication with each other, but to also communicate with them.

Each Metro-Nashville precinct has a community affairs coordinator who works with area residents and businesses.

“The number of cases that have been solved by information shared on the network is amazing, according to the Hermitage Precinct,” Trew said. “It just wouldn’t work without that interaction with the precinct.”

The police department has a list of all precincts and community affairs coordinators on their website.

By 2025, the Middle Tennessee area is expected to be home to 1.9 million people, which is a growth of 267,000 people since 2015, according to the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.