Buena Park PD sets up 'safe exchange zone' for fear-free public transactions

Buena Park police this week set aside space in the department's parking lot so residents can safely make transactions without fear of a mugging or rip-off.

With the proliferation of online transactions, which can lead to robberies and deception, police sought to create a spot where the deals can be made in a place thieves usually like to avoid -- the police department, said
Buena Park police Sgt. Mike Lovchik.

An officer in the department heard that a northern California city had created a safe spot for deals and suggested doing it here, Lovchik said. Buena Park is believed to be the first Orange County city to create a safe "exchange
zone.''

"After seeing a marked increase in the selling of counterfeit tickets, robberies and attacks during transactions, we knew that we had to take additional steps to protect the public,''  Capt. Gary Worrall said.

"We designed an area for exchanges that is well lit and under video surveillance,'' he said. "Our officers don't get involved or monitor the transactions, but the proximity to a police station is clearly a deterrent for criminal activity.''

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