Exchange Zone is Live! – Think Safety

Have you ever wanted to buy or sell something online but did not want a stranger to come into your home?

Have you ever used Craigslist, EBay or an Online Dating Service and felt very uncomfortable walking into a stranger’s home?

The Town of Dudley has heard your concerns and has set up an “Exchange Area” located outside the Dudley Police Dept. in two parking spots and have also made the interior waiting area – an Online Exchange Area.

This exchange zone will allow Dudley residents and business owners, the ability to conduct their transactions in the parking lot or lobby areas of the Police Department under video surveillance.

Meeting someone for the first time?… what better place than the Police Station.

Although the Town of Dudley can never guarantee your safety, the Exchange area will reduce the odds of a transaction going bad. Well lit, law enforcement seconds away and the ability to ask an officer to run a serial number of an item to see if it is reported stolen. All of these little things will provide a greater level of security than conducting business in your home.

The designated areas are video-recorded 24 hours a day, however police encourage residents to conduct transactions during daylight hours. Those who plan to take advantage of the program should be aware that officers can only become involved in a transaction if criminal activity is reported. There will not be officers assigned to stand-by for these exchanges, but if anything criminal were to occur, a resident could walk into the lobby to make a report.

Meeting in the police department parking lot helps reduce any potential danger to the seller or the seller’s family and property.

While items cannot be stored at the police department or in the parking lot, if the item can be safely transported, the seller should consider conducting the transaction at that facility.

In addition, this is a good time to review “Safe Tips” for conducting business online thru ads and with strangers.

Additional tips for conducting a transaction with an unknown buyer include the following:
* If a person seems reluctant to meet at the Police Station exchange area, that should be treated as a Warning Sign that something is not right.
* Only accept cash for sale. Personal checks carry risk.
* Conduct sales during weekdays so banking or financial institutions can be contacted if there is a problem.
* Don’t go alone and trust your instincts.
* Tell a friend or family member where the transaction will take place.
* If possible, conduct your transaction during daylight.
* Large Cash Transactions, such as buying or selling a car, should be done at the Exchange area.
* Carry a cellphone.
* Never meet someone in a secluded area!

Buying and Selling can and should be a rewarding experience. Simple steps… such as meeting at the exchange area… can also make it Safer!

Good Selling!
Dudley Police Dept.
Dudley Board of Selectmen
Dudley Economic Development Committee