For bargain hunters in Flagstaff who have ever been leery about meeting a Craigslist seller face-to-face, they now have a safer option in which to make a business transaction.
The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and Flagstaff Police Department have designated two areas in their parking lot as “Internet purchase exchange locations.” The exchange points are located at 911 E. Sawmill Road, which is a law enforcement complex that serves as the headquarters to both agencies.
“When people make deals or converse over the Internet and want to exchange or conduct a transaction this is a place to do it that’s safe, and it’s under video surveillance,” said Jim Driscoll, chief deputy of the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.
This month, the sheriff’s office posted signs that state, "Internet Purchase Location." They are meant to provide a safe place for Internet exchanges. The designated areas are well-lit, under camera-surveillance and available day and night.
“This is one of those ideas that was developed and we’ll see how it works out,” Driscoll said.
He added that anyone doing business through social media sites is still expected to act at their own risk.
"We can't guarantee someone won't have a bad transaction, or that there wasn't a problem," Driscoll said. "But we're trying to do this for our residents to give them a safer option."