Brick is the latest town to set up a “safe exchange” zone near its police station to provide a safe, open and monitored area for residents to exchange items bought online, on sites such as Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist.
The safe exchange zone is located in the rear of the Brick Township municipal building to the west of the entrance to the Police Department. The zone will be under surveillance 24 hours a day, officials said in an announcement about the new program.
“We are excited to provide this invaluable service to the residents of Brick Township,” said Mayor John Ducey. “There has been a sharp increase in people using social media and the internet to sell and buy goods. The Safe Exchange Zone was created to provide anyone who is tentative or concerned about buying or selling goods with a safe place to complete their transactions.”
The Safe Exchange Zone consists of two clearly marked parking spots. The area is well-lit and under 24-hour a day surveillance. The Zone is free for anyone to use.
The Brick Township Police Department offers the following tips for anyone planning on using the Safe Exchange Zone:
- Let a friend or family member know about the exchange meeting.
- Know who you are dealing with: Look into the seller’s background, either through a consumer protection agency such as the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, or through online feedback if you are shopping on a website like Ebay or Amazon. Get a phone number and physical mailing address.
- Try to complete all transactions during daylight hours (if possible).
- Never invite strangers to your home or agree to meet at their home.
- Do not agree to a transaction if the other party refuses to complete the exchange in the designated “Safe Exchange Zone.”
- Police Department or Township employees will not act as a witness or be part of these transactions.
- Remember to bring a cell phone in case of an emergency.