SACRAMENTO, CA - Sacramento Police say the online network of some Natomas residents has helped curb crime in the Sacramento area, a group that stays connected through Yahoo Groups and have created a "virtual neighborhood watch."
Angelique Ashby and Keith Sharward are actively involved in their Yahoo groups. When they get word about crime and suspicious activities in their area, they share it with their neighbors via e-mail.
"We're able to get that information out to thousands of residents in the region very quickly," said Angelique Ashby of the Creekside Neighborhood Association. "So many people have Blackberries, iPhones. We're able to communicate very quickly about what's happening and to get the information back to the police department."
That's a big help to the Sacramento Police Department, which is down about 100 officers.
"I know if I put out a vehicle description involved in some sort of robbery series, burglary series, I know that there are at least 10 people in that small neighborhood looking for that car actively," said Sacramento police Capt. Daniel Hahn.
Yahoo Groups in the Natomas area include "Rob's List," Whitter Ranch
Community Alliance, Natomas Buzz and the Creekside Neighborhood
Time and time again, Yahoo Groups have helped spread the word about suspicious activity and subjects.
"Within minutes, there was email back and forth on the Yahoo group on which streets they were on, which directions they were going, what descriptions were," said Hahn. "We always say knowledge is power. If you know what's going on in your neighborhood, you now have ability to help solve those problems."
By Suzanne Phan, email@example.com