May 1, 2017
The Woodland Police Department has initiated a new program called a Safe Exchange Zone. This program attempts to address safety and awareness concerns regarding Internet based purchases from websites like Craigslist, eBay, Facebook groups, classified ads, and other sources. While many websites, including those previously mentioned, are very credible and are heavily utilized, their popularity make them an easy target for criminal activity from online predators. Based on criminal reports where buyers or sellers have experienced violent or negative encounters, our department wants our citizens to have a secure location available for our citizens to help ensure and enhance their safety and to minimize the opportunity for an encounter to go wrong.
The Safe Exchange Zone program provides our citizens a safe area for prospective buyers and sellers to meet. We have designated two parking spots in our front public parking lot, located on the north side of the police department, as a Safe Exchange Zone for any type of legitimate exchange our citizens may need.
The Safe Exchange Zone also provides a safe location for families with visitation rights to make the custodial exchange in a neutral location. The Safe Exchange Zone is available to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Safe Exchange Zone is under video surveillance at all times and is well lit at night to provide extra protection to the public.
The Safe Exchange Zone may not be used to make illegal transactions of narcotics, dangerous or deadly weapons, or any other dangerous materials. In addition, Woodland Police Department employees will not act as witness or be a part of any transaction. Remember that Police personnel are not trained nor authorized to validate the legitimacy of any transaction, item for sale, or integrity or legality of a sale. The Woodland Police Department is simply providing a safe location to conduct business.
If you intend to pursue a meeting to purchase or sell an advertised item from any individual you do not know, please be cautious and do not provide personal or financial information. Also, ensure the background location and items in the photographs you post or send do not inadvertently reveal personal information, location information or other items, which may attract online predators. Additionally, ask a lot of questions if you decide to meet with a prospective buyer or seller. Do not meet someone you’re not familiar with in a location you’re not familiar with and do not meet them alone. Most importantly, use the Woodland Police Department Safe Exchange Zone at 1000 Lincoln Avenue to help ensure a safe transaction encounter.
The Woodland Police Department works hard to establish and maintain positive interactions with the members of our community. We value the input of those who work and live in our community, and we strive to provide the best services to everyone who visits or calls Woodland home.
If you have any questions about the Safe Exchange Zone program, please call (530) 661-7800.