As a safety measure, the Baylor Police Department invites members of the community to meet in the lobby of the police department to exchange items bought on sites like Craiglists, Baylor’s Free and For Sale Facebook page or other online sites.
Robinson senior Daniel Rager was robbed and shot at on March 23 during a Craigslist transaction off campus.
Rager met two men in Waco at Oakwood Park, near Oakwood Ave. and Ninth Street, to complete the transaction.
Baylor Police Chief Brad Wigtil and his staff have made accommodations for students to no longer feel unsafe when doing deals like this where anything can happen.
“We want to create a safe space for these internet transactions for faculty, staff and students. We encourage folks to do these transactions in the Baylor Police Department lobby,” Wigtil said.
The lobby will be available between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. for all students, staff and faculty to come in and let the dispatcher know what they are doing and how long they will be meeting.
“Trust your instincts if things aren’t quiet right, then back out at any time, but meeting in a public place rather than not is a good safety measure,” Wigtil said.
A student, then, can rely on one of the 46 staff members to keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary while the transaction is being made.
“Waco Police Department and Robinson already have a system going on where people can meet under police surveillance, which I was informed of afterwards. But it’s something I would suggest for anyone who is doing any kind of online deal,” Rager said.
After being a part of this ordeal, Rager suggests students make every possible means to be in a public place and have other people present.
“If you don’t have a handgun on you, the police department is the best place to meet. Let the police know and they can keep an eye on it from the building, but take every precaution that you can,” Rager said. “If I would have known about it, this probably never would have happened, they probably never would have shown up.”
Robinson’s Police Chief Rusty Smith has helped institute the internet purchase exchange location at the Robinson Police Department and looks to help individuals in the community feel safe during these transactions as well.
“This process is something that has just been instituted, but our public information officer has put the information on the City of Robinson and Police Department’s Facebook page,” Smith said.
The Robinson Police Department’s video surveillance is down for now, Smith said, due to an electrical issue, but it is being worked on this week and he hopes to have it up and working again soon.
The Robinson Police Department is located at 111 West Lyndale Drive, and Baylor’s Police Department is located at the Speight Plaza Parking Facility, 1521 S. 4th St.
“We are wanting people to feel comfortable here,” Smith said. “You can never trust someone you have never met on an internet transaction and you don’t know their motives. Ladies who bring a male friend might dissuade someone from taking advantage of you, but no one should go alone, there is greater safety in numbers.”
For further questions about the internet purchase exchange locations, call the Robinson Police Department at (254) 662-0525 or Baylor Police at (254) 710-2211.