The City of Lebanon Police Department has a Safe Exchange Zone Program in effect. This program is intended to create a safe environment for the transfer of goods and money for the seller and buyer involved in an internet-based, in-person sale.
Recent national incidents have indicated that in-person sales, transactions and exchanges originating from online marketplaces such as Craigslist and Lebanon online garage sales, have experienced an increase in violence, fraud and theft by deception. In an effort to promote safer transactions between strangers, we are encouraging residents to use their local police department and city hall parking lot, where the signs are located, as a meeting place for in-person transactions to occur. Therefore, effectively immediately:
- The parking lot of City Hall and Police Department, 401 South Jefferson, is open and available to the public as a “Safe Exchange Zone” for conducting in-person transactions that have been facilitated through online marketplaces. The signs indicate parking areas.
- The best hours for “Safe Exchange Zone” are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays (holidays excluded), for conducting in-person transactions that have been facilitated through online marketplaces.
- The City of Lebanon makes no guarantees, assurances, or promises as to the safety or security of any in-person transactions that may take place on city property.
- It is not the intent of the Lebanon Police Department to provide police personnel or staff to witness any transaction in person, but the video surveillance by and the proximity to police personnel is meant to increase the public’s peace of mind when engaging in such transactions with unfamiliar individuals.
- It is recognized that police personnel are not trained nor authorized to validate the legitimacy of any transaction, item for sale, the integrity of any product or goods, or legality of a sale.
- The Lebanon Police Department encourages all residents to engage in such transactions during daylight hours; to bring a cell phone along in case of emergency; to notify friends or family of the intention to meet to conduct such a transaction; to never invite strangers to the home or agree to meet at a stranger’s home; and to reconsider any transaction with someone who refuses to meet at a police department.
- This Safe Exchange Zone is also an excellent place for the public who are involved in child custody exchanges during visitations by another parent to meet and exchange the child or children to the other parent or guardian.