Local and national news shows have been featuring Woodstock’s Transaction Safe Place initiative, offered by the Woodstock Police Department to help residents who want to use Craigslist for buying or selling but are concerned about safety. Woodstock police officials are offering the department’s headquarters on Hwy 92 as a site where buyers and sellers can conduct business in the presence of a police officer. Anyone interested in taking advantage of this free service should call 770-592-6030 (option 7) to schedule a time from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. After-hours appointments also are available by calling the Cherokee Emergency Dispatch center at 678-493-4080. Police officials have the ability to enter an item’s serial number into a statewide and nationwide database to make sure it’s not stolen merchandise.
Craigslist’s personal safety page recommends that buyers and sellers meet in a public place to handle transactions, but even a place as public as a grocery store parking lot can prove to be unsafe. The initiative is a reaction to a string of recent crimes in Georgia, including a 21-year-old college student who was robbed and killed over an iPhone, and a Marietta couple killed in a secluded area of south Georgia where they traveled to look at a classic car they wanted to purchase. The purpose of the initiative is to move those transactions away from a secluded area to a public place, according to Woodstock Police Chief Calvin Moss during an interview on the Today show, “Typically a bad guy doesn’t want to transact bad business in a police department.”