CARROLLTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Some North Texas Craigslist users don’t have to meet in sketchy parking lots anymore, that’s because Carrollton police are offering their headquarters as a meet up spot instead.
Officials say they are offering their location as a safe and neutral place that will hopefully keep Craigslist buyers and sellers honest.
Carrollton Police Department spokeswoman Jolene DeVito said, “We know that this [Craigslist] is a very popular way to buy and sell things. And that’s great, but it does make us a little nervous that our citizens set up meetings with strangers, in parking lots. We just wanted to inject ourselves a little bit in the process.”
DeVito explained further that residents buying or selling in the city can be extra assured of their safety, since anyone who refuses to meet at police headquarters is probably not someone to do business with. “If you buy or sell something online and you say, ‘Hey, meet me at the police department.’ And they say, ‘Um, I don’t think so,’ obviously that would give you pause and perhaps have you rethink.”
Anyone in the Carrollton are can take advantage of the police department ‘safe zone.’ DeVito said, “People are welcome to come to our front parking lot. If it’s during business hours they can come into our main lobby or 24/7 they can go in to our jail lobby – which is also video monitored.”
The police department main lobby is only open during normal business hours, but the parking lot and jail lobby are always open.
The City of Carrollton City Manager requested that police offer safe space after seeing it offered elsewhere. Both the Bedford and Denton Police Departments offer similar safe places to meet.
DeVito said the bottom line is, “We wanted to offer people a safe place to conduct these transactions, instead of meeting a stranger in a random parking lot somewhere. We want them to come to us.”
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