The Cullman Police Department has a safe exchange zone in the parking lot of the police department facility, located at 601 2nd Avenue NE. The zone provides a well-lit, public location for people to meet to finalize online sales transactions, exchange child custody, and so forth. The idea behind the safe exchange zone is to lessen the risk of robberies, fraud, or other incidents that can sometimes be associated with these types of transactions. Police personnel are not present or involved in any of the exchanges that take place in the safe exchange zone, and police personnel cannot serve as official witnesses of transactions. The zone is simply offered as a safer alternative for these types of transactions.
The Cullman Police Department advises our citizens to still follow the following safety guidelines when buying and selling items online:
- Only trade with local buyers/sellers.
- Take someone with you to meet a prospective buyer/seller.
- Make sure a family member or friend is aware of the transaction details.
- Insist on meeting in a public area, like the CPD safe exchange zone.
- Do not enter someone else’s house, and do not allow a stranger into your home.
- When possible, complete the transaction during daylight hours.
- If a transaction occurs after dark, complete the transaction in a well-lit, public location, such as the CPD safe exchange zone.
- Be extra cautious when buying or selling valuable items such as vehicles or jewelry.
- Trust your instincts: If it sounds like a scam, it probably is.
- If someone is not willing to meet you at the CPD safe exchange zone to complete the transaction, it is probably not a legitimate transaction.