The Aberdeen Police Department has designated itself an E-Commerce Safe Exchange Zone, offering the use of the department’s lobby to conduct private Internet transactions.
“Private Internet sales have become a popular way to buy and sell goods. Citizens now have our lobby to facilitate these sales, which are video monitored,” APD Lt. Will Reiber stated in a news release Thursday. “This creates a safe space for citizens to do business while minimizing the potential for crime.”
Anyone who has agreed to a transaction can go into the station, inform the police communications officer of their intent to conduct an e-transaction and complete the sale, according to the news release. The officer will create an event record documenting the transaction.
The lobby itself is a secure space from the rest of the headquarters and adjoining Aberdeen City Hall.
Providing an area that is under video monitor will discourage robberies or other crimes, Reiber said.
“There is no question in our citizens minds there’s a designated safe place to come and make an e-commerce transaction,” he said. “People don’t always think of a police department as a place to do that.”
A lot of times, he said, people will follow the directions of the seller and meet wherever the seller says.
“I don’t know many people who wouldn’t feel safe doing it at a police station,” Reiber said. “This creates a safe environment for all parties involved.”
The Aberdeen Police Department does not act as a broker or a witness and does not provide legal advice or settle civil disputes, Reiber pointed out, nor will police officers or civilian employees assist in any aspect of the transaction.
“[The department] is not responsible for any part of the sale,” Reiber said.
The department’s interest is to create a safe space to do business, so weapons, contraband, drugs, stolen items and any property considered dangerous are prohibited from entering the station, he said.