“Internet buying exchanges reduce the likelihood of theft or crime and give an additional sense of security. If the exchange is a scam or for nefarious reasons, it would be quite brazen for the other person involved to turn up to the police. If the other person doesn’t show up or asks for another meeting, that’s a red flag. We believe the Springfield Police Department is a much safer option when it comes to doing business with strangers,” said Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood.
Since 2018, the Springfield Police Department has been a designated community meeting place for legal business only. There is no police oversight of transactions; Officials do not monitor the exchange, confirm identities, or screen the items to ensure they are genuine or not stolen.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno states, “I want to applaud and commend Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood, her leadership team, and all of our brave and dedicated men and women of our Springfield Police Department, as well as Councilman Lavar Click-Bruce, Chairman of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee for the cooperation and continued participation, promotion and support of this public safety initiative. When conducting online shopping exchanges with parties you may not know, it is important and safe to conduct this type of legal transaction in a public environment and in a safe place. Conducting this online purchase exchange is welcomed at our Springfield Police Headquarters on Pearl Street, and we welcome and encourage every Springfield resident to use this location for their safety.”
Police are also reminding the community that a transaction on Police Department premises does not guarantee security. However, if an incident occurs during a transaction, notify law enforcement immediately. The designated community meeting points, identified by green signs, are located on Pearl Street on the sidewalk in front of Springfield Police Headquarters and also in the lobby. Simply tell the officer at the front window the reason for your stay in the lobby. Both locations have cameras that can be monitored by our officers as well as Crime Analysts.
The lobby is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is an alternative point in front of the main entrance to the police station for exchanging large items. Both locations are under video surveillance 24 hours a day.
The use of police stations as exchange zones for these transactions has proven itself in other parts of the country as well as in neighboring departments. We encourage citizens in the area to consider this as an option when agreeing on a location to conduct an in-person transaction.
If you are purchasing items online through sites such as Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Let It Go, Offerup, or other online or in-person transactions such as sporting event or concert tickets, it is recommended that you meet in a public place. All you have to do is show up in the police headquarters lobby. No need to call or make an appointment. When you enter you will see an officer at the reception. 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 help you.
Here are some general safety tips for social media transactions:
1. Meet in a public place like the Springfield Police Department.
2. Don’t go alone.
3. Trust your instincts.
4. Don’t meet in a remote area.
5. Do not invite strangers into your house and do not go to them.
6. Be careful when buying/selling high value items.
7. Conduct the transaction during the day.
8. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
9. Tell a friend or family member about your intentions.
10. Take your cell phone with you.
Our police are always ready to open our doors to our citizens.
Community Meeting Place – Springfield Police Department (springfieldmapolice.com)