The Newton Police Department can be reached at http://www.newtonpolice.com/
The suggestion to walk the neighborhood and visit nearby shops and businesses is a good one, there are several wonderful coffeeshops nearby, the Country Desserts Bake Shop is right at the corner of River and Lexington St ... Auburndale Center and West Newton Center have a whole host of little shops and businesses that would really give you a good feel for the neighborhood.
Tough it is summer, you may wish to check out the two Elementary Schools which serve that neighborhood ... The Burr Elementary School and Franklin Elementary School. Whether you check the Newton Public Schools website http://www.newton.k12.ma.us or perhaps check the Massachusetts DOE website of School profiles http://profiles.doe.mass.edu/profiles/general.aspx?topNavId=
If I can be of any service, don't hesitate to contact me at GreerHomes@gmail.com or call (781) 304-1048
I happen to live in that neighborhood and would be happy to help you find a property in the area if you are interested. My email is Mary.Lewis@commonmoves.com.
If you need help, you always can call up a local real estate agent.