The City of Pearland Police Department has initiated a new program called a Safe Exchange Zone. This initiative attempts to address safety and awareness concerns regarding internet-based purchases from websites such as Craigslist and EBay, as well as the various local Facebook groups, or any other item advertised for sale from an individual, regardless of the source of the advertised sale. While many websites, including those previously mentioned, are very credible and are heavily utilized, their popularity makes them easy targets for criminal activity from online predators. The City of Pearland is now offering a secure location available for Pearland residents to help ensure and enhance their safety and to minimize the opportunity for an encounter to go wrong.
The Safe Exchange Zone initiative provides residents with a safe area for prospective buyers and sellers to meet. The City of Pearland has designated a space in the public parking lot of the Public Safety Building located at 2555 Cullen Parkway, as a Safe Exchange Zone for any type of legitimate exchange residents need – which includes internet-based buyer and seller transactions. The Safe Exchange Zone location is located on the Municipal Court side of the building.
For decades, the police department has informally encouraged the use of the police facility for parents and caregivers who have concerns regarding child custody transfers. The Safe Exchange Zones are available to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Safe Exchange Zone security extends into our police department lobby to provide an even higher layer of security and shelter, which we encourage residents to utilize for buyer and seller transactions.
If you intend to pursue a meeting to purchase or sell an advertised item from any individual you do not know, please be cautious and do not provide personal or financial information. When corresponding with buyers or sellers you are not familiar with, be extra vigilant by electronically disabling all of the location services on your device and do not send digital photographs with embedded global positioning system (GPS) data. This includes disabling the ‘Frequent Locations’ function located in your ‘System Services’ security setting on cellular telephones. Also, ensure the background location and items in the photographs you post or send do not inadvertently reveal personal information, location information or other items, which may attract online predators. Additionally, ask a lot of questions if you decide to meet with a prospective buyer or seller. Do not meet someone you’re not familiar with in a location you’re not familiar with and do not meet them alone. Most importantly, use the City of Pearland Department Safe Exchange Zone to help ensure a safe transaction encounter.
The City of Pearland Police Department works hard to establish and maintain positive interactions with the members of the Pearland community.