If people are worried about being robbed or assaulted while finalizing their online transactions, the Lakewood Police Department has a way to make them feel safer.
The department is welcoming residents to use its lobby for people to meet up, and has installed a sign outside the station to let the public know about that option.
The recently installed sign was donated to the department by OfferUp, one of many websites that facilitates transactions that end up being completed in person.
The department lobby, 9401 Lakewood Drive SW, is staffed Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and it has video surveillance and often a lot of officers on hand.
“If they’re legit, there’s going to be no problem,” police spokesman Chris Lawler said.
Front desk staff won’t be involved in transactions, Lawler said, but they can summon officers if a problem arises.
The department has used its office as a safe deal space for about a year, he said, but the sign is new — there hasn’t been a recent incident that spurred its installation.
“The sign reminded us we’ve done this before,” Lawler said. “Why not do it again?”
Lakewood police originally offered the lobby as a safe space for transactions last year after a property crimes sergeant noticed other police departments doing similar things.