Spring Hill

Last week the city of Spring Hill established a “Safe Exchange Zone” for face-to-face sales and transactions to help ensure citizens’ safety.

“Online sales and trading involving in-person interactions have become increasingly popular nationwide,” the city stated in a press release. “Unfortunately, meeting up with a stranger in a non-public place has occasionally resulted in armed robberies, violent incidents and scams in many cities. In an effort to avoid these types of incidents, the Spring Hill Police Department has designated three parking spaces in the lower front parking lot of Spring Hill City Hall as a Safe Exchange Zone.”

The zone is located at City Hall, 199 Town Center Parkway, in the lower parking lot.

This zone, the city’s statement said, allows residents to safely meet and complete online transactions in a well-lit area in close proximity to the Spring Hill E-911 Dispatch Center, in case of an emergency. Dispatcher monitoring and video recording will help prevent crimes and any other unintended consequences of these types of transactions.

“The SHPD Safe Exchange Zone will be a positive first step in providing a safe meeting location for members in many online purchasing groups, such as Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace or VarageSale,” said Spring Hill E-911 Director Brandi Smith. “This location will be a highly used resource in keeping Spring Hill citizens safe.”

Video recording monitors four parking spaces in the designated area. The Safe Exchange Zone is open to the public and designated by bright yellow signs. Here you can trade legal items, including internet sales transactions, or conduct child custody exchanges in a safe, camera-monitored environment. Note that the trade or sale of any illegal items is prohibited and could lead to an arrest.

Police will not be screening transactions but are available if an emergency arises. Video recordings monitor all trades conducted in the Safe Exchange Zone.

If at any time you feel unsafe or need police assistance, dial 911 or call (931) 486-3269 for non life- threatening emergencies.

In addition to using the Safe Exchange Zone, keep in mind these tips when conducting internet exchanges:

– Meet in the Safe Exchange Zone or other neutral, populated and well-lit areas.
– Do not disclose unnecessary personal details and avoid meeting at your home.
– When possible, bring a friend to accompany you during the transaction.
– Beware of vague or “too good to be true” offers.
– Call 911 or the local non-emergency police number if you feel unsafe or see something suspicious