“Internet purchase exchange locations reduce the likelihood of theft or crime and provide an additional sense of safety. If the exchange is a scam or for nefarious reasons it would be quite brazen for the other person involved to show up at the police department. If the other person doesn’t show up or asks to meet somewhere else, that is a red flag. We believe Springfield Police Headquarters is a much safer option when conducting business with strangers,” Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood said.
The Springfield Police Department has been a designated Community Meetup Spot since 2018 for legal transactions only. There is no police oversight of the transactions; officers do not supervise the exchange, confirm identities, or check the items to ensure they are authentic or were not stolen.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno states, “I want to applaud and commend Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood, her leadership team and all of our brave and dedicated men and women of our Springfield Police Department, and City Councilor Lavar Click-Bruce, Chairman of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, for working together and continuing to participate, promote and embrace this public safety initiative. Conducting online purchase exchanges, with parties that you may not know, it is important and safe to do this type of legal transaction in a public setting and safe space. Doing this online purchase exchange is welcomed at our Springfield Police Headquarters on Pearl Street and we welcome and encourage any Springfield resident to utilize this location for their safety.”
Police are also reminding the community that making a transaction on the police department premises does not guarantee safety. However, if an incident occurs during a transaction, notify law enforcement immediately. The designated Community Meetup Spots which are marked by green signage are on Pearl Street on the sidewalk in front of Springfield Police Headquarters and also inside the lobby. Just inform the officer at the front window the reason for being in the lobby. Both locations have cameras that can be monitored by both our officers and Crime Analysts.
The lobby is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. An alternate exchange location in front of the main entrance of the police station is available for the exchange of large items. Both locations have 24-hour video surveillance.
Utilizing police stations as an exchange zone for these transactions has proven successful in other parts of the country as well as neighbouring departments. We suggest citizens in the region consider this as an option when arranging a location to conduct an in-person style transaction.
If you're buying items online via sites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Let It Go, Offerup, or any online or in person transaction like sporting event or concert tickets, it is recommended to meet in a public place. All you need to do is show up in the police headquarters lobby. You do not need to call or make an appointment. When you walk in you will see an officer at the front desk. Let the officer know you are there to conduct an internet transaction. The police officer will not monitor your transaction; however, if you need assistance, the officer will assist you.
Listed below are some general Social Media transaction safety tips:
1. Meet at a public place such as the Springfield Police Department.
2. Don't go alone.
3. Trust your instincts.
4. Do not meet in a secluded area.
5. Do not invite strangers into your home, and do not go to theirs.
6. Be cautious when buying/selling high value items.
7. Perform the transaction during daylight hours.
8. If it sounds too good to be true, it normally is.
9. Tell a friend or family member about your intentions.
10. Take your cell phone with you.
Our police department is always willing to open our doors for our citizens.