Monday, August 17, 2015

Safe Exchange Zones

Vancouver Police and Clark County Sheriff's Office parking lots posted as Safe Exchange Zones (Photo) - 08/17/15 
"Vancouver, Wash.- On August 17, 2015, the Vancouver Police Department and Clark County Sheriff's Office will begin offering the parking lots at their facilities as Safe Exchange Zones where individuals conducting online purchase transactions can meet with the potential buyer or seller to complete the transaction. The parking lots at the participating law enforcement buildings provide an alternative to meeting a stranger at a private residence or unfamiliar location. Signage is placed on the buildings that are designated as Safe Exchange Zones. 

"It's important to remember, everyone online is a stranger, so offering our parking lots as a place where legal transactions can occur seemed like a natural extension of our community crime prevention efforts", said Vancouver Police Chief James P. McElvain. 

"Historically, our precinct parking lots have been seen as 'neutral zones' for citizens to meet, be publicly visible, and know that a deputy may be close by if needed", says Clark County Sheriff Chuck E. Atkins. "In an era of increasing risk from online purchases, we see this as a logical component of our commitment to public safety. By providing our parking lots as a known landmark to meet and conduct legal, private transactions it's our desire to lessen the potential dangers for both buyer and seller." 

Vancouver Police or Clark County Sheriff personnel will not assist with any transactions, and gun sales are prohibited. The Safe Exchange Zone is meant for person-to-person transactions. Property may not be dropped off and left unattended; sellers are required to take their property with them if the buyer does not show up. 

The following location parking lots are designated and signed as Safe Exchange Zones: 
* Vancouver Police Administration (605 E. Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver, WA) 
* Vancouver Police West Precinct (2800 NE Stapleton Rd., Vancouver, WA) 
* Vancouver Police East Precinct (512 SE 155th Ave., Vancouver, WA) 
* Clark County Sheriff's West Precinct (505 NW 179th St., Ridgefield, WA) 
* Clark County Sheriff's Office Central Precinct (11608 NE 149th St., Brush Prairie, WA) 

Law enforcement agencies across the country are utilizing the safe exchange zone premise and both the Vancouver Police Department and Clark County Sheriff's Office are excited to support this enhancement to community safety. "

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