By Alicia Neaves
ODESSA - Odessa Police are teaming up with an app dedicated to stopping crime in your neighborhood. It gives you a direct connection to police, in case you spot anything suspicious going on.
It's called the Nextdoor app, which acts as a virtual neighborhood watch.
"It's a technology that brings back the old-time neighborly spirit," said Dr. Nalin Tolia, whose son invented the Nextdoor app.
It's a crime prevention technique invented by an Odessan. The app uses many pairs of eyes as opposed to one pair in a patrol car.
"Police departments across the country, all of them, are not able to resolve crime and provide for a fully safe community without the participation of the residents that we serve," said Odessa Chief of Police, Timothy Burton.
"Police can not reach everywhere. So we have to filter information to give them," said Dr. Kamal Tolia, whose son invented the Nextdoor app.
Nextdoor provides neighbors a way to connect and solve crimes at the same time. If they spot a suspicious car or person, they can report it to police right away.
Odessa resident Duane Moreland's neighborhood was a big target for criminals.
"It seems like there's just people cruising up and down your alleys and they'll just walk into your garage and take whatever's handy. Fortunately I haven't had anything stolen out of my garage because I've seen all these postings on Nextdoor and so when I go out and mow my grass, I close my garage door after I get my mower out and go to the front," Moreland said.
You can also report a lost pet on Nextdoor or you can host a virtual garage sale.
Keep in mind, the app doesn't replace 911. It's for non-emergencies only.
"There is no substitute for neighbors watching out for neighbors," Burton said.