LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Kids hear about stranger danger all the time; maybe adults should listen to that advice, too.
You may buy or sell things online, but when you make that exchange, how much do you know about the person you're meeting up with? More than likely not much.
The way people are shopping now is different. Shoppers look for deals online and through apps. Sometimes you meet in random places to exchange a product for money. The chances of these sales leading to crimes is a problem that is increasing.
LMPD announced on Tuesday that they are adding a layer of protection for people with new swap zones. The swap zones are designated spaces in public places that will offer 24-hour video surveillance.
People looking for a place to go to buy or sell items or even make custody exchanges can go to any one of four designated areas throughout Louisville to conduct business where cameras are recording.?
"Certainly we think that people bad intentions are less likely to commit a crime in an area where they know they are being recorded," Louisville mayor Greg Fischer said. "Our new MetroSwap zones will provide a public location that is being recorded on video 24 hours a day. While they won't be monitored live, they will create a record of a transaction which will be preserved if an incident occurs."
And incidents have happened.
"In February, we saw a couple of examples where someone bought or sold an iPhone online and when they met that person they found themselves at gunpoint being robbed," Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad said.
St. Matthews Police have been ahead of the game. They have had their Exchange Safe Zone Parking spaces at the Police Department since January 2017 and people have been taking advantage of it.
"We have people here four five times a week exchanging things," St. Matthews Police Officer Troy Armstrong said.
A camera is pointed right at the spots and there are lights overhead. WAVE 3 News got a look inside St. Matthews dispatch center where the video is recorded. Because these swap zones are on police property and cameras are around, it makes criminals think twice.
"Being at the police station it tends to keep people away who aren't doing it for the right reasons," Armstrong said.
The initial four MetroSwap Zones will be located at:
- 2nd Division: 3419 Bohne Avenue
- 3rd Division: 7219 Dixie Highway
- 7th Division: 7201 Outer Loop
- 8th Division: 200 Juneau Drive
Chief Conrad also offered suggestions to keep yourself safe:
- Agree to meet at one of the safe swap zones
- Meet during daylight hours
- Make sure you tell someone you trust when and where you are meeting
- Make your interaction brief and to the point