HASKELL, Arkansas — 'Tis the season for porch pirates!
We all know when the holidays roll around, cities tend to see an increase in criminals stealing packages right off door steps.
One police department in central Arkansas is offering some extra security for your holiday gifts to help combat this issue.
Haskell Police Chief Michael Watson said this was something he saw other law enforcement agencies do last year, so this holiday season he decided to try it out in his city.
"I saw that they were having success with it, so I started thinking about it last year and decided I'd go ahead and get it done this year," he said.
As the holidays kick into gear, unfortunately, so does the likelihood of people stealing packages off other people's porches.
Due to this common issue, Watson said the Haskell Police Department is offering a special service to keep your holiday package deliveries safe.
"People can, when they order their packages, put our address on there. We can hold the package and they can come by here and pick up the package and sign for it," he said.
According to Watson, there are two main reasons the department decided to be a safe haven for gifts.
"We're doing it as a public service thing to our community, who supports us, and to help cut down the possibility of the packages being stolen," he said.
So how does it work exactly?
Watson said when you find that gift you want to buy this holiday season, just put the Haskell Police Department's address as the shipping address and then you'll come to the station and pick it up. Just don't forget a photo ID!
"We will secure them in one of our rooms and then when people come pick them up, we will get their ID and we'll compare it," he said.
The police department, according to Watson, will only accept packages from certified carriers like UPS, FedEx and Amazon because those packages come with tracking numbers, which the department will keep in a log.
In the spirit of the giving season, Watson said this is a gift from the department to the city to remind them they're always here.
"With all the stuff going on in this day and age, they are still standing behind our department, and me, myself, and the department thought it was something we could give back to them," he said.
The Haskell Police Department will offer this service beginning Monday, November 30 until Wednesday, December 23.