In an effort to help citizens meet and complete transactions and exchanges in a safe and secure manner, the Salem Police Department and Roanoke County Sheriff’s Office have joined forces to create a “Safe Exchange Zone” on the corner of Thompson Memorial Drive and East Main Street.
This new designated parking spot, that is located in the Roanoke County Courthouse parking lot, is clearly marked with specific signage and under 24-hour video surveillance.
“We believe the proximity to Roanoke College and Interstate 81 will make this a very convenient location for those choosing to use it,” says Roanoke County Sheriff, Eric Orange. “We are happy to partner with the Salem Police Department and offer this service along with the peace of mind that it brings.”
The continuing rise of e-commerce exchanges through Craigslist and mobile apps like OfferUp and Letgo has created a demand for safe exchange sites like this all over the United States. The first such ‘Safe Zone” was established in Boca Raton, Florida in 2014.
“These exchanges often have been completed in front of police departments for years, but this new designated location allows for 24-hour surveillance by the Sheriff’s Office staff,” says Major Derek Weeks, Salem Police Department. “This new area will provide a safe environment for both custody exchanges between parents and internet-based sales. We are excited to work with the Roanoke County Sheriff’s Office to offer this service.”
Those using the area should call 540-283-3161 to let law enforcement know a transaction is taking place. Should an emergency occur, simply dial 911.
-Submitted by Mike Stevens