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August 15, 2020

6/17/2020 1:27:00 PM
New 'Meetup Safe Zone' opens for 24/7 private and public transactions at NVPD
Look for the blue sign marking the Meetup site.
+ click to enlarge
Look for the blue sign marking the Meetup site.

The City of North Vernon announces its new "Meetup Safe Zone" is now ready for the public to use.

NV Councilor Baron Wilder came up with the idea in January to create a safe spot in the city for public transactions to take place. These are more and more popular as people sell and buy items over the internet.

The area can also be used as a "neutral" meeting area for child custody exchanges.

The Council agreed and the spot it now read, costing at last report close to $10,000 to set up the area, which includes 24 hour video surveillance for the safety of those meeting.

Here is more information provided to this newspaper:

What is the Meetup Safe Zone?

Meetup Safe Zone is a designated location for residents to conduct transactions in a public location. Transactions may include online purchases, child custody exchanges or transactions where meeting in a public location will help improve personal safety.

Where is the Meetup Safe Zone located?

The Meetup Safe Zone is located in the City police department parking lot at 101 N Madison Ave behind the police department building and available for exchanges at all times. The area is identified by Meetup Safe Zone signage and two parking spaces with blue lines.

Is the Meetup Safe Zone monitored 24 hours a day?

While security monitoring is in place, a staff person is NOT assigned to viewing the footage or exchanges on a regular basis.

An officer will NOT monitor each exchange nor facilitate transactions.

The Meetup Safe Zone is not a guarantee of safety, but rather used as an additional option when people want to schedule an exchange or transaction in a public place.

Safety Tips

Here are some safe ty tips about in-person transactions

While many people who conduct business online are honest and sincere in buying and selling items, there are those who use it to facilitate crimes. These tips are mentioned as extra safety measures:

• Tell a friend or family member where you are going and when you will return.

• If possible, have someone accompany you.

•Conduct ex-changes during daylight hours.

• Make sure the product works. Remember once you give the seller cash and leave, there aren't any refunds.

• Bring a cell phone and make sure it is turned on.

• Only purchase items from sellers who will meet in person and accept cash. If a seller insists on money transfer, i-tunes gift cards, or online payment, don't do it.

• If you are purchasing or selling a large ticket item (such as a vehicle), consider meeting at a bank.

• Always trust your instincts and take additional safety precautions as necessary.

• Cancel plans for a transaction if you identify any red flags or have additional concerns for your safety.

• If it's too good to be true, it probably is.

• The City of North Vernon assumes no liability whatsoever for those using the zone.

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