Safe Zone

MPD is proud to introduce a Safe Exchange Zone located in the SW portion of our PD parking lot. These parking spots are intended for child custody drop off, property echanges and E-Commerce transactions (online sales). See images and attached information. Location is going to be well lit and under 24/7 video surveillance.

Additional Safety Tips
• Meet in the Safe Exchange Zone or other neutral, populated and well-lit areas
• Do not disclose unnecessary personal details and avoid meeting at your home
• When possible, bring a friend to accompany you during the transaction
• Beware of vague or “too good to be true” offers
• Call 911 if you feel unsafe or see something suspicious

Questions about The Safe Exchange Zone? E-mail us at: mailbox@montevideopolice.com or call us at (320) 269-9402.

Illegal or Hazardous Items
The trade or sale of the following items is prohibited in the Safe Exchange Zone:
• Hazardous materials and explosives
• Illegal drugs or narcotics
Failure to follow these guidelines could lead to an arrest.


SAFE EXCHANGE ZONE

If you are in need of a safe place for an in-person exchange of goods, the Montevideo Police Department has established a “Safe Exchange Zone.” You can find the Safe Exchange Zone in the rear parking lot area (SW corner of building) The Safe Exchange Zone is designated by signs and will be well-lit at all hours of the day. Here the public can trade legal items, including internet sales, or conduct child custody exchanges in a safe atmosphere promoted by our police-protected and camera-monitored environment.

More Police Stations Offering Locations for Safe Internet Trades
June 22, 2016 Security News
While summer garage sales are alive and well, many people prefer the convenience of selling their outgrown baby strollers and old gym equipment in online marketplaces. Every day, thousands buy, sell and trade via sites like Craig’sList, Facebook, eBay, EPage, and ClassifiedsGiant. Most of the time, it’s uneventful. However, there is a darker side of internet shopping that tells of the danger of doing business with strangers.
While it may seem obvious to those who’ve had a bad experience, you might be surprised to know that:
• Hundreds of people are robbed, beaten or killed each year during exchanges
• Even public places (like Walmart parking lots and gas stations) are not 100% safe

What is a Safe Trade Zone or Internet Exchange Location?
A safe trade zone or internet exchange location is a place where online buyers and sellers meet, usually located in a police station parking lot. Lately, more local police departments are providing this easy, low cost solution to a common problem.

The idea of meeting in the police parking lot for the added safety is not a new one. Many divorced couples having been meeting in police lots for years for child exchanges, or to review custody schedules and other documents.
Typically there are:
• 24 hour surveillance cameras to monitor the parking lot
• Set hours during which transactions should take place
• No guns, illegal or legal drugs allowed
• Police officers just steps away

Where Can I Find a Safe Trade Zone Near Me?
Do an online search for “Safe Trade Zones near me” or “Where can I find an Internet Exchange Location” and look for local police stations that provide these. You can also visit the Safe Trade program website and look up your home state.
The Safe Trade program began in 2015 and is open to all police departments and LEO organizations. It helps users of online classifieds trade safely, and there is no cost to the stations that choose to use it.
What if I can’t meet up at a Safe Trade Zone?
The Safe Trade program recognizes that selling large furniture or a play structure might not be practical in the police station parking lot. If you can’t meet there, Safe Trade recommends:
• Meet at a police station where you can exchange and photocopy each other’s’ identification papers, such as a driver’s license. Do NOT carry cash to this location.
• Photocopy the license or identification paper, or use your phone to photograph it.
• Email the ID information to a friend, or to someone trusted (not to yourself).
• If you’re selling at home, or going to someone’s home, never be outnumbered. If you’re at home, make sure you have two or three people there — and tell the person who is coming that you will have others with you. There’s some safety in numbers.
• At home or an apartment, NEVER let someone go anywhere unaccompanied. Not even to the bathroom. Always make sure they are escorted.
• Never let more than one group come to your home at one time to buy or sell
No matter where you make a trade or sale, it is never a good idea to make it obvious that you are carrying a large sum of cash, and you should make certain that when you leave you are not being followed.

Even when meeting at your local police station remember the following tips when buying or selling on Craigslist and other online marketplaces:
• Some police departments have rules: specific hours of availability, “no guns,” “no drugs” (especially no illegal drugs!), or the like.
• Police typically will not get involved in the details of the transaction. They’re only there to make sure you’re safe.
• Ask for proof of the seller’s identity, if the item is something that might have been stolen. Many police departments (but not all) are willing to check the serial number of an item for sale to determine if it’s in a database of stolen property.
• If you’re carrying a large sum of cash, either before or after the transaction, don’t make it obvious, and be careful to ensure that you’re not followed after the transaction.
• Beware of common scams, like checks for an amount higher than the amount of the deal; “cashier’s checks” that are forged and presented when the bank is closed.
• If you are given a cashier’s check, money order or other equivalent, call the bank --- at the number listed online, not a number the buyer gives you --- to verify the validity of the check.





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