Davis, Calif., adopted a free, online tool to connect with its citizens and distribute information. The service, called Nextdoor, is a private social network that joins people together based on where they live. In one month of use, more than 740 households in 21 neighborhoods in Davis have used the service, the nonprofit organization California Forward reported.

“We’ve had budget and staffing reductions, and we’re still trying to maintain the same level of efficiency and communication with our citizens,” Community Partnership Coordinator Stacey Winton said. “Citizens of Davis want technology and they have a higher expectation to access information.”

After logging on to Nextdoor.com, users can type in their addresses and they are then either identified as already belonging to an existing online community, or if no one has signed up in that neighborhood yet, a new community can be created and the user can invite neighbors to participate. Users can share information about crime, events or anything else that might be useful to a resident.

“I posted something the other day about the closure of a major county road that connects our city to the city north of us. It’s going to be closed for 20 days. Within minutes of posting, I got three responses from people thanking me for giving them that information,” Winton said.

Nextdoor is available nationwide and currently is used by 45 cities to communicate with residents, according to the company.