SPOTSWOOD, NJ - The Spotswood Police Department set up a Safe Exchange Zone in the front parking lot of the Spotswood Municipal Building this week. They announced the addition on both the department's website and Facebook page. The area is well lighted and under 24-hour surveillance.
Many police departments across the nation, including the Milltown Police Department, have been establishing Safe Exchange Zones in an attempt to cut down on violent incidents that have occurred with individuals meeting strangers to buy or exchange merchandise via online yard sales, social media posts and websites sites such as Craigslist.
The Safe Exchange Zone is available to anyone free of charge. However, the SPD states on their website post that Spotswood police officers and personnel will not witness or be present for any sales or swaps. The Exchange Zone simply provides a safe, public area that is under constant video surveillance for people to use in those instances.
The post also warns residents to remember the following when engaging in transactions with strangers:
- Always complete transactions, sales or exchanges during daylight hours.
- Have a working cell phone.
- Let someone know about the meeting beforehand.
- Never arrange to meet an online stranger at your home.
- Never agree to meet a stranger at their home to complete a sale or exchange.
- Reconsider the transaction if the other participant refuses to meet at a Safe Exchange Zone.
The Spotswood Municipal Building is located on 77 Summerhill Road.