Ever arranged for a face-to-face transaction with someone on a website like Craigslist, and then worry endlessly about how the meeting and exchange will go? The worries are not without warrant, what with stories in the news about people being robbed or even killed after arranging a meeting, even if the number of safe transactions vastly outweighs the ones gone wrong.
A solution to the problem arose back in 2015, courtesy of local police departments, in the form of Safe Exchange Zones. These take the form of marked areas within parking lots of police stations, or inside their lobby, so that people can meet and sell or hand off their wares with their fears of getting robbed greatly reduced, if not eradicated. Zones of this nature are also frequently used for child custody exchanges.
Westmoreland County Sheriff’s Department has gotten in on the act, with two such zones on the east side of the main entrance to the Sheriff’s Office. Deputies will not get actively involved in transactions that take place there; however, that does not stop it from being monitored by cameras or law enforcement personnel at all times.