Neighborhood watch group uses GroupMe to stop crimes as they happen
This week, we received an amazing email from Bob in Detroit, who is using GroupMe with his neighborhood watch group to stop crimes as they happen before the police can even jump into action.
We’re too amazed by this use case to try to summarize it any further, so we’re publishing it in its entirety. Please read his note:
Crime. Drugs. Murders. Corruption. Homelessness. Crappy schools. Everything you’ve heard about Detroit is true.
But there’s a lot you may not have heard about. Urban gardens. Bike culture. Green space development. A redeveloped riverfront. Growing neighborhoods. Arts. Music. Detroit’s a long way away from Shangri-la, but small pocket neighborhoods featuring low rent are attracting young professionals who want an urban experience.
My small neighborhood, Hubbard Farms, consists of about 250 homes and has been consistently solid for over a century. That’s not to say we haven’t had to face up to typical urban issues on a weekly basis. Car theft and B&E’s [Ed.: breaking and entering] are common. The infamous Hotel Yorba, a pay-by-the-week rental behemoth, sits at one end of the neighborhood. This is the last chance for most of the people there to have a roof over their heads. Many are fine citizens. But once in a while, you get some meatball who makes or draws trouble.
The neighborhood has a well-used listserv but email communication is not the best way to communicate emergencies. We wanted to reach each other faster, and GroupMe was our answer with group texting.
Since March, we’ve been able to stop a home invasion, interrupt a car theft in progress, and snap a clear photograph of a vagrant chucking bricks through picture windows, all due to our ability to amass a large number of persons very quickly to the scene of the action.
GroupMe has provided a sense of empowerment in our community. We always know we have dozens of eyes and ears on the street. And if there is trouble, we know our neighbors are just a text message away. Detroit has a long way to go, but with communities using technology that supports the more positive efforts, we are just that much closer to where we all want to see things go. Better.
Thanks, Bob. We’re humbled and inspired by your story.
As always, we want to hear how you are using GroupMe in your everyday life. Send us an email at email@example.com.
Photo via bbcworldservice on Flickr.