City of Madera:

November 20, 2019

MPD announce new ‘Safe Exchange Zone’ for private-party transactions

The Madera Police Department has unveiled a new “Safe Exchange Zone” to provide a safe environment for private-party transactions.

Located inside the Madera Police Department’s southern parking lot at 330 S C Street, the zone consists of two designated parking spaces that are under 24-hour surveillance and open to the public 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

“The intent is for people to be able to meet for online purchases or child exchanges in a safe place that is monitored by video surveillance,” said Chief Dino Lawson in a statement. “Protecting residents to the best of our abilities remains the department’s primary focus, this is just another service we can provide to support that goal.”

Madera police recommend several safety tips for people who buy, sell or trade in private-party transactions:

• Insist on meeting in a public area like our safe exchange zone
• Do not go to a transaction alone
• Make sure a friend or family member is aware of the transaction details
• Do not go into someone else’s house, and do not allow them into yours
• Complete the transaction during daylight hours
• Trust your instincts and be cautious of scams
• Be extra cautious when buying or selling valuable items such as vehicles and jewelry

MPD strongly encourages the public to make use of the exchange zones, and be especially wary of meeting people who refuse to meet at a Safe Exchange Zone location.