Sandy City implements an “e-commerce exchange zone”

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SANDY – Police Captain Justin Chapman often searches the internet for deals.

“I’ve shopped and I’ve also sold things on sites like KSL.com,” Chapman said.

He admits that as a law enforcement officer he can be more suspicious of others.

“There’s always this unease about who this person is? Is everything legitimate?” Chapman said.

So on September 16, when he bought an iPhone, he asked the seller to meet him outside the police department in the city’s new e-commerce exchange area.

Two blue signs mark the area, south of the department’s entrance gates.

Surveillance video shows the seller’s vehicle stopping in front of the building. It’s raining and Chapman walks in to make the purchase.

“He even mentioned to me, I always feel uncomfortable doing this stuff because I don’t know who I’m going to meet, I don’t know where the best place is to stop and do a transaction like that, ”Chapman said.

That’s why City Councilor Steve Fairbanks pursued the idea of ​​setting up an exchange zone.

“I found this story about someone who bought an item on Craigslist and when they went to meet and complete the transaction they ended up getting beaten up and robbed,” Fairbanks said.

Fairbanks said her son, who lives in Texas, told her about a similar service in his local police department.

(Photo: Jay Dortzbach / KSL-TV)
(Photo: Jay Dortzbach / KSL-TV)

“It’s really simple and relatively free for the city,” he said. “Our expenses are e-commerce brands, which are not very expensive.”

The neighborhood is well lit. It is unguarded, but a camera on the south side of the building provides a bird’s eye view.

City officials said the footage would be available for an extended period.

“It has all the features you would want for a safe trading area,” said Nicole Martin, communications director for Sandy City. “If someone you’re dealing with doesn’t want to meet you in this area, I think you might want to reconsider trading with them.”


This has all the features you would want for a safe trading area. If someone you are dealing with doesn’t want to meet you in that area, I think maybe you should reconsider making an exchange with them.

–Nicole Martin, Director of Communications for Sandy City


The main focus of the area is e-commerce exchange, but officials say people can go there to do childcare exchanges as well.

“If there is a criminal offense, we will intervene. If there is a civil litigation, we will not do it, but we will have it recorded if it is useful in a civil transaction,” Fairbanks said.

Sandy City is one of the first in Utah to implement the service.

Spain’s Fork and Orem Police Department have also recently established their own safe zones.

“We actually added to our outside surveillance to incorporate the spots,” Orem police sergeant said. Craig Martinez.

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