BRISTOL - Police have created a safe zone across from the police department for residents who exchange things with strangers using websites like Craigslist and Letgo.
“We get calls all the time from people wanting to come to the police department to buy or sell things,” Bristol police Capt. Richard Guerrera said.
Police announced the Internet Purchase Exchange Zone on Friday, unveiling signs that sit in the parking lot across from the Bristol Police Department, at 131 N. Main St. This area currently has one of the department’s several surveillance cameras pointed directly at it. In the next week or so, Guerrera said, police will have a new camera installed that will solely be dedicated to monitoring the exchange zone.
In that same timeframe, the area will also be marked off with lines on the ground so residents know where to do their transactions to assure it is captured by surveillance.
Other police departments have done this,” Guerrera said. “We’re not the first.”
According to the captain, the idea for the exchange zone came about in response to numerous calls from residents wanting to buy or sell things with strangers met over the Internet in the police department for their safety. There have not been any recent reports in Bristol of anyone being robbed or harmed during a transaction, he said.
“We’re being proactive,” Guerrera said. “We’re not being reactive.”
The police captain also said the area will be well lit at night. Anyone wishing to use it does not have to contact police beforehand.
“They can just show up,” Guerrera said.
The only reason police would have to know about an exchange is if something were to go awry, the captain said.
Police, Guerrera said, went to the mayor’s office and corporation counsel before having the signs made for the initiative.
“The mayor was on board,” he said. “Everyone was in agreement.”
“We’re trying to provide a safer environment for people to do exchanges.”
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or email@example.com.