Freeport Police Work With Other County Departments To Offer “Safe Trading Zones”

Freeport, Illinois — July 6, 2017 — Craigslist is a great place to find inexpensive stuff, according to the Freeport Police, but they also caution; the Internet can also be dangerous. To combat crimes, Freeport police along with other departments across the country are offering “Safe Trading Zones” for Internet transactions.

Craigslist recently updated their safety page to encourage users to exchange “high value” transactions at local police stations.

Freeport City Alderman Andrew Chesney recognized the citizens of Freeport need a safe place to complete their transactions. Alderman Chesney asked Chief Todd Barkalow to design a plan that allows a well-lit place where both parties can feel comfortable. Freeport Police has established a Safe Trade Zone.

How Safe Trade Works

The old rule — “Make your deals in public” — isn’t good enough anymore. People can be victims of violent crime trading stuff for cash even in a supermarket parking lot. There’s a better option. It’s called Safe Trade Zone.

Here’s how Chief Barkalow explained how it works:

1. Agree to meet the buyer or seller of whatever you’re selling (or buying) ONLY at the Freeport Police Headquarters.
2. Meet only during daylight hours if possible.
3. Meet inside the Freeport Police lobby if possible or during inclement weather. No appointment necessary; Just notify dispatch of the situation. (No firearm exchanges or extra-large items like sofas or pianos allowed)
4. If you cannot meet inside the lobby, meet on the west side of the building near the Freeport Police Department’s pergola. The pergola area is covered by surveillance cameras, plus there are a lot of police officers coming and going. It’s not as safe as indoors, but it’s much safer than the proverbial “meet in a public place.”

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