‘We know right away if something goes wrong’: Indiana police want people to use ‘Safe Exchange Zones’

SEYMOUR, Ind. — In the parking lot behind the Seymour Police Department are two parking spots labeled as “Safe Exchange Zones.”

They’re something the department put in about two years ago.

“It’s an area where you can come and make a transaction,” said Jeremy Helmsing with the Seymour Police Department.

That transaction could be any kind of online purchase. Helmsing says those spots are especially for people who purchase something from someone they might not be comfortable with. 

Internet purchase exchange location Seymour

Internet purchase exchange location Seymour

WHAS

It’s also to help with custodial exchanges.

“When those exchanges kind of go south, that’s when we get involved obviously,” said Helmsing.

He says the department usually sees anywhere from 5-10 reports of custodial interference a month. But the Safe Exchange Zones aren’t being utilized.

“We haven’t seen it being used as much as we would expect,” said Helmsing.

The whole point of these spots is to make sure exchanges can be done safely. If something goes wrong it’s all caught on camera.

“We know right away if something goes wrong, there’s actually a live person watching what’s going on outside,” said Helmsing.

Seymour security cameras safe exchange

Seymour security cameras safe exchange

WHAS

But it’s also all recorded.

“It could be a plate number, it could be identifying factors, it could be clothing, but we have it all recorded at the time. So then if we need it for an investigation or a case to prosecute somebody we have that information available.”

It’s a resource that officers are encouraging the public to keep in mind and utilize.

“We want to open our doors, let people know that it’s here.  Let people know that we’re here for them and that we’re close by if they need us.”

MORE INDIANA NEWS:

Contact reporter Abby Lutz at alutz@whas11.com. Follow her on Twitter (@abbyjlutz) and Facebook.

Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the WHAS11 News app now. For Apple or Android users.

Have a news tip? Email assign@whas11.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed.