Apps like Nextdoor can be a quick and open way to share news, good or bad, about the neighborhood.

But we all know how news can turn into telephone and go off the rail pretty quickly. So are these neighborhood networks good or bad for local police?

Minneapolis police regularly tap into Facebook communities and neighborhood apps like Nextdoor for giving and listening to tips.

Same for Golden Valley.

"Overall I'd say they definitely help," said Sgt. Randy Mahlen with the Golden Valley Police Department.

"In a smaller community like Golden Valley, it's more beneficial. ... It's a great two-way tool for law enforcement to reach out to the neighborhoods, be more interactive, more transparent."

But on NextDoor alone, there are 262 groups in Minneapolis, and 268 in St. Paul, not counting suburbs. That's 530 neighborhoods digitally playing telephone about potentially unsubstantiated crimes.

Which could become a problem if you are in the crime fighting industry.

"My team handles a number of phone calls every week of people alarmed about something that's happened that never really happened," said John Elder with Minneapolis Police. "Yesterday we had a report on social media of somebody who allegedly robbed a business in Minneapolis when in fact that information was wrong. And they posted a picture off of the surveillance camera that as an investigator we would not have wanted released."

The smaller police agency shares this problem, too, but says they will also use these apps to stop false rumors from spreading.

So are we better off or worse off with these apps?

"Well, we're batting about 500," said Elder.