Sarasota Police Department designates lobby as ‘Safe Place’ for online transactions

SARASOTA, Fla. – May 6, 2015 – 8:30 a.m.

In a proactive and innovative way to protect residents and visitors in the City of Sarasota, the Sarasota Police Department is offering the Sarasota Police Department lobby as a ‘Safe Place’ to conduct online transactions.

The public can use the Sarasota Police Department lobby to meet and complete transactions arranged online and officers and/or members of the Sarasota Police Department will be standing by to increase the buyer’s and seller’s sense of security.

Locally there has not been any recent increase in robberies involving online transactions however there have been a number of cases throughout the country. The Sarasota Police Department joins the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office as well as law enforcement agencies around the state and country, designating safe places for online transactions.

"Transactions of online purchases should never, ever be done in areas like secluded parking lots, in the dark or in unfamiliar locations, especially when you’re dealing with people you’ve never met," said Chief Bernadette DiPino. "There is no way to know if the person you’re conducting a transaction with has the wrong intention. Using our lobby will reassure both the buyer and seller."

Members of the public are welcome to conduct their transactions inside the Sarasota Police Department lobby, located at 2099 Adams Lane, Sarasota. Lobby hours are 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., daily.