The new Burnet police station offers a safe spot for residents completing online transactions through services such as Craigslist and Facebook market as well as child custody exchanges.
“With the new building, we took the opportunity to use a couple of (parking) spaces for a safe exchange area,” said Burnet Interim Police Chief Sid Fuller. “It’s a program I’m pretty used to in the Dallas-Fort Worth area (where he once served), and we thought it was something that the residents here in Burnet could benefit from.”
Instead of people completing face-to-face transactions in unsecured areas, they can make them at the police station, 2000 U.S. 281 South in Burnet.
Fuller pointed out that criminals have taken advantage of online purchase exchanges to steal from the other person, or worse. But a lighted parking lot where police officers come and go would make that crime near impossible, Fuller said.
“People don’t need to call ahead or make an appointment to use the safe exchange parking places,” he said. “It’s open 24 hours, seven days a week, plus the department has video surveillance of the area.”
Fuller said the safest way to complete online transactions is through the mail, but if that isn’t possible, the Safe Exchange Zone or another well-lit public place are the next-best options.
“Always be aware of your surroundings,” Fuller added.
The Marble Falls Police Department, 606 Avenue N, also has a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week Safe Exchange Zone that is under video surveillance.
In Horseshoe Bay, residents can schedule a safe exchange from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. at the police or fire stations, located at #1 Community Drive in Horseshoe Bay, by calling 830-598-2633.