Village Defense Keeps Neighborhoods Safe
The days of fathers and brothers patrolling a neighborhood at night are long gone, but criminals are still on the prowl. On average, over two million instances of burglary occur per year (FBI
), and no neighborhood is completely safe. Luckily, your neighborhood doesnt have to go completely unprotected. Village Defense
, a free new app for iPhone and Android, is the new wave of neighborhood watch technology. With free text alerts, easy-to-use map interface, and live chat, Village Defense is the ideal solution for those looking for a more technologically advanced neighborhood watch system
After CEO and Co-Founder Sharath Mekala came home one day to find that a burglar had entered his home and taken what he or she pleased, Mekala realized that something had to change. A neighbor of mine thought he saw the burglar and could identify him, Mekala stated in an interview with InMyArea.com. Unfortunately, the neighbor had no way of contacting him or alerting the community. The incident made Mekala realize the value of connecting a neighborhood through a neighborhood watch app. Village Defense was born a few years later. Today, Village Defense is in over 1,000 neighborhoods in 200 cities
Village Defense has a variety of features that can help connect you to your neighbors. Features include
- Text or voice alerts when something suspicious happens
- Real-time chat with neighbors who are witnessing the incident
- Ability to send photos of what is happening
- Maps of which neighbors are participating, and the ability to invite neighbors for free
The most important feature is the alert, which lets people know somethings wrong within minutes, Mekala said. But he also stresses that all of the above features are equally important. Thats why they are all included in the free version for the application. However, a homeowners association (HOA) can pay extra to get these premium features
- A neighborhood dashboard for that specific area
- Voice alerts to landlines (for those who dont have smart phones)
- 24/7 emergency reporting
The application is completely free. All you need to do is download the app. However, if you and your neighbors would like the additional features mentioned above, your HOA will have to pay $125 a month
. That is a small price for the added security the system provides.
The free subscription stems from a phone call Mekala and his co-founder, Nathan Black, received from a man named Jake in Oakland, California. Jake came from a neighborhood that had fallen on hard times and did not have a Homeowners Association to pay the monthly fee. After Mekala and Black discussed the issue, they decided to give their product to Jake and his community for free. In a matter of hours, 75 to 85 percent of the neighborhood was on,
Mekala said. That activism made the two co-founders realize the importance of offering a free version of the application for those who could not afford the fee.
Bringing Communities Together
Village Defense is not just about keeping a neighborhood safe; it is also about bringing together communities for their overall advancement
. Mekala describes Village Defense as a form of activism, rather than a company whose sole goal is profit. We want you to feel like we are your neighbors, Mekala concluded about the system, we are humans. We understand community problems. This point of view makes Village Defense unique. The company truly wants to make neighborhoods safer places to live.