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From the east side to the west side, neighborhood groups use phone apps and text chains to fight crime

Posted at 9:05 AM, Oct 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-18 09:05:33-04

CLEVELAND — A growing number of neighborhood groups and block clubs are turning to high-tech ways to fight crime, using their smartphones and social media to better report suspicious activity.

Cleveland Slavic Village community activist Ed McDonald has now started the Southeast Cleveland Action League Facebook page as a way to connect and educate residents in the community.

McDonald said the use of "text chains" and the "Neighbors" phone app have created better ways to instantaneously report crime and suspected wrong doing.

"I decided to start a group where we could be proactive, where we talk about change as opposed to what happened in the past,” McDonald said.

"Residents have full fledged message groups, where they’re on text, on phones, or they use Facebook messenger."

“They literally communicate, hey look there is strange guy walking down the street, before that guy can make it to the corner, there’s 15 cameras on that person.”

East 50 Street Block Club leader Odetta Fields said more neighborhoods are turning to technology in response to growing crime issues.

Odetta went through the murders, robberies, car break-ins and arson fires that struck the Slavic Village neighborhood in 2019.

Fields believes more communication among residents will make a difference in curbing crime.

“Our page is more about taking action in the neighborhood,” Fields said.

“We’re getting a lot of things accomplished in our neighborhood, and we pull together as a community.”

McDonald said it's imperative residents work together with and police to make a safer neighborhood.

“We want the ability to have people to be able to communicate with other people, because that builds a network, and a network builds a fence, and that fence can sometimes be impenetrable,” McDonald said.