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Great Idea: Florida Police Department Creates Safe Zone for Online Sales and Child Custody Exchanges

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Parking in the Shade

It’s better than doing it here
Photo: Alex92287

Part of buying or selling items on Craigslist is the understanding that the safest place to perform the transaction is away from your house. As a result, many times buyers and sellers will meet in business parking lots. However, this is not a perfect solution, as the police departments in Orange County, Florida, know—each year, police receive dozens of reports of scams, counterfeit money, and armed robberies, with a risk of injury in each case.

So, police in Buena Park decided that perhaps the department should take these exchanges under its steady gaze. Now, two parking spaces at its headquarters are designated by a sign reading “Safe Exchange Zone.” In addition, these spots are under direct video surveillance 24 hours a day, are brightly lit, and are marked off in reflective paint.

The Exchange Zone is specifically made to make sure that people making in-person exchanges will have the extra safety afforded by being in front of the police station with constant video surveillance. This also extends to parents in bitter or contentious divorces where there is shared custody, providing a zone where children can be exchanged from one car to the other.

Generally, the idea was summed up succinctly by Sergeant Mike Lovchik, who told the Orange County Register, “Most of the time, a scammer won’t want to do things on the parking lot of a police station.”

News Source: Orange County Register