Safe place in North Port for Craigslist shoppers

Posted at 11:05 PM, Jan 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-01 07:59:23-05

NORTH PORT, Fla. -- Sites like Craigslist and literally have it all. Wide selections include furniture, cars, and even speedboats. But these sites also carry a certain stigma.

"You hear horror stories; people you know going out to do something trying to makes some money, get rid of some stuff in their house, and somebody's getting raped, beaten up, mugged...robbed," said Kieran Campbell, of North Port.

The North Port Police Department came up with an interesting idea. The boys in blue simply moved one of their surveillance cameras to face two parking spots right outside the police department. The newly posted e-commerce exchange safe zone signs are an effort by the department to help lower crime and help give people a little piece of mind when using the sites.

"Somebody would have to be pretty bold to come to a police department to rob somebody," said North Port Police public information officer, Josh Taylor.

The idea of meeting with someone at police headquarters provides a safer alternative than meeting someone at your home or in a unfamiliar area. "You don't have to worry about going to some, some crazy person's house to where they can kidnap you or anything like that. You actually have a safe spot that's monitored and everything like that. I think its a great idea," said Corey Helvey, a North Port resident.

Kieran Campbell is happy North Port Police will be looking out for his girlfriend who uses Craigslist. "NPP, they are right there with her. That will be great," said Campbell.

Corey Helvey really tried to avoid those sites but is now willing to give them a chance after hearing about the safe zones.

"I think Craigslist is going to be a little bit more safer, especially here in the town here of North Port because they are setting these kinds of things up," said Helvey.