A safe place to meet strangers

Lansing Police Department offers “meetup spot”

Meetup Spot
An area outside the Lansing Police Station has been designated as a safe “Meetup Spot” for internet exchanges or other meetings. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
by Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (February 21, 2018) – During a meeting of the Citizens Police Academy, Lt. Steve Roberts reminded class members about the “Meetup Spot” the Lansing Police Department has designated near the public parking lot outside the station.

The area is lighted and it’s under 24-hour video surveillance, as indicated by the sign, so internet consumers can use the area to finalize purchases that have been made on eBay, OfferUp, Craigslist, or other online transaction sites. Lt. Scott Bailey added, “If they say, ‘No, I’m not going to meet you at the Police Department’—ok, then maybe you don’t want to meet them anywhere.”

The official designated area is outside the police station, but people are welcome to use the lobby indoors as well. Whether making arrangements to meet in the parking lot or the lobby, there is no need to notify the police ahead of time. The main doors of the station are always open.

Roberts mentioned that the Meetup Spot has also been used for custody exchanges. It has not yet been used for blind dates, he laughed in response to a class member’s question, though theoretically it could be.

The Meetup Spot is available for Lansing residents as well as nonresidents. Lts. Roberts and Bailey hope that more people will become aware of it and use it as a safe place for meetings that involve any kind of uncertainty.

The Lansing Police Department is located at 2710 E 170th Street in Lansing, Illinois.

 

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