Springfield, MO—Springfield residents have been avoiding locations that display signs with the “Safe Place” logo, which features a large yellow creature sneaking up behind and grabbing another person. “I’m not going anywhere near those signs,” said resident, Julie Watterson, “I don’t want to be grabbed.” Like Watterson, most people have interpreted the logo to mean that the surrounding area is a “safe place” for people who sneak up behind and then grab innocent bystanders.
The “Safe Place” signs actually indicate that a nearby organization will provide support and safety to children and adolescents who are “at risk” or are in crisis situations, as part of “Project Safe Place.” But no one knows that, and so local business owners are hoping that the creepy sign doesn’t pop up near them.
“It would be awful if a ‘Safe Place’ sign were displayed near us,” said Ryan Wiksell, owner of The Front Porch downtown, “I would hate for people to be afraid to come and enjoy hanging out here at the Front Porch. People need to feel safe to have fun, and the Front Porch is definitely a safe place, not a ‘Safe Place.’”
The downtown clothing store Vintage Vice is right across from The Rare Breed, which displays the frightening sign. “I’m terrified to cross the street alone,” said Vintage Vice owner, Shawn Matthews, “I even set booby traps everywhere inside and outside my store. I assume to keep a location from becoming a ‘Safe Place’, you have to keep it somewhat dangerous—and that means to customers and sneaker-uppers alike.”
Filed Under: Crime