Safe0306

The signs for the designated safe meeting spaces in front of the Arlington Police Station.

 

Arlington locals now have a space downtown in front of the police station that is a designated meeting place for online selling or buying.

Officials from the city and police department put up signs and designated a community meeting space in front of the Arlington Police Station where locals can meet.

“It’s been on the radar for quite a while,” said Kristin Banfield, communications manager with the city of Arlington.

“We’ve had a lot of community interest in a spot like this,” she said. “So we finally got going on making this now."

The space can help those who feel nervous about selling something online through the numerous marketplaces that are available through the internet.

“A lot of people use online sales now, whether that is through Craig’s List, OfferUp or the numerous buy and sell groups that are on Facebook,” said Banfield. “Anytime you are buying or selling with a stranger there’s always an element of risk, so this really helps people feel a lot more comfortable."

The feedback from the public has also been very positive so far, she said.

“When we announced this on Facebook we got a lot of thank-you’s from residents who said they were often leery about following through with an online sell,” she said.

In addition to online selling and buying the spot can also be used for divorced parents for custody exchanges.

“The spot can also be used for custody cases, where there can be a child drop off or pick up,” said Banfield.

“If the family relationship isn’t the best, this can be a little more comfortable for the parents to drop off the kids here,” she said.

The Community Meeting Space signs are provided by OfferUp, one of the online community marketplaces apps.

OfferUp paid for the signs while the city completed in the work to install cameras for the area, making sure they were set up to record the area and that it was brightly lit enough for people in the area.

“We didn’t need to enhance the light,” said Banfield, because the light was already pretty strong in that area by the police station.

City officials have received many requests for a safe meeting spot location, said Banfield, and now they are able to provide it.

“We’ll be able to have a place to direct people,” she said, “and I think it gives folks a little more peace of mind.”

Additional safe trade spots are shown at www.safetradespots.com, a database of community meeting spots that are in front of law enforcement agencies.

Arlington isn’t uploaded to the site yet, but should be added soon said Banfield.

Other jurisdictions like Marysville are already on the site.

“We’re a little late to the party on this one, but we’re happy to have it up now,” she said.

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