Crime - Sacto 911

West Sacramento police offer ‘exchange zone’ for potentially dangerous transactions

Part of the parking lot at the West Sacramento Police Department has been set aside as a safe space for child custody exchanges and transactions between buyers and sellers set up on the internet.
Part of the parking lot at the West Sacramento Police Department has been set aside as a safe space for child custody exchanges and transactions between buyers and sellers set up on the internet. Sacramento

The West Sacramento Police Department has set aside part of its parking lot as a safe space for child custody exchanges and internet transactions between buyers and sellers.

The department launched the “Safe and Secure” program Monday, designating two parking spots in front of the police station that are under 24-hour surveillance and are clearly marked with signs indicating their use, according to a Police Department news release.

Transactions originating on the internet have been linked to criminal activity nationwide, police said. People posing as buyers arrange to meet with sellers, and the sellers become victims of a crime.

Officers also often are dispatched to civil stand-by calls involving child custody exchanges. “These calls sometimes end up with two parents engaged in a screaming match in front of their children,” the news release stated.

The designated spaces at the Police Department are intended to provide extra oversight for people worried about potentially dangerous encounters.

“Our hope is that the exchange zone will positively impact the crime rate for internet originated transactions and minimize disputes during child custody exchanges within our city,” the news release said.

The department’s entire parking lot is under 24-hour surveillance, police said, so if the designated spaces are full, people can use other spaces in the lot.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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