Fears of buying and selling online eased by safe meeting space in South Haven

Fears of buying and selling online eased by safe meeting space in South Haven. (WWMT/Ray Hole)

Trust can be hard to find when buying things online through sites like Craigslist or Facebook Market, but the South Haven Police Department is hoping to ease some of the fear.

South Haven has designated parking spaces for people to meet up outside the police department for a safer exchange.

Police said they are not reinventing the wheel with the concept, they just wanted to give people a safer option when making personal e-commerce transactions.

Summer tourism season is just getting started in South Haven and some turn to online sales sites looking for fast cash or a cheap item.

Trent Bulat, a South Haven resident, said, “Especially with a lot of vacationers coming through, people are wheeling and dealing online and they need to know that there's a safe place where they can make their transactions.”

Some people say it is risky business when it comes to buying and selling on sites like Craigslist or Facebook Market.

South Have Police Officer Shawn Olney said, “People have ill intentions and that's unfortunate and that's what this is designed to prevent.”

South Haven police offer two parking spaces for a more secure transaction.

The E-commerce Exchange Zone is under surveillance 24/7, is located in front of the department and it is already becoming a hit in the community.

Olney said, “We have the parking lot space, so I went to the chief, she gave me the go ahead. So, I had the signs made and we promoted it and it's been our biggest, most popular post.”

Though there are other places around town to make the exchange--people on south haven say it's good to know there's a safe choice.

The space and the department will be available 24/7 for those who need to make transactions outside of the buildings business hours.

Jan Leksich, a South Haven resident, said, “You've got to be careful, but I think that the police doing this Safe Haven Place to Meet is fabulous.”

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