Do you love to buy or sell stuff online? Of course, many items are shipped directly to homes, but you sometimes need to meet up to complete a transaction.
And sometimes this can put buyers in a vulnerable position and create opportunities for criminals. Unfortunately, police all across the country respond to numerous reports of robberies, assaults and thefts as people who just want to buy an item become unsuspecting victims.
To increase safety and promote safer exchanges, you can now meet up at the Sully Governmental Center in Chantilly and use the new safe exchange zone parking spaces, which are directly in front of the building. The governmental center is also home to the Sully District Police Station, so the parking lot is monitored by video camera 24 hours a day.
“Countywide, we have seen robberies that have stemmed from ads on sites like Craigslist,” says Tara Gerhard, Sully District’s crime prevention officer. “These events have also occurred in the Sully District over the last year. While we were developing the program, several robberies happened across the county, which then gave us the backing to prove this program is necessary to preserve the safety of Fairfax County residents.”
If an issue arises in the parking lot that requires law enforcement attention, then Gerhard says you can contact police.
“People are welcome to request an officer through the front desk of the Sully District Police Station,” Gerhard says. “If you don’t wish to come inside, you can call the non-emergency number, 703-691-2131, which is on the exchange zone sign. If there is a true emergency, the individual may dial 9-1-1 or come inside the station.
Gerhard says the pilot program will last several months, and after a period of assessment, the program would likely expand to other police station parking lots. “The idea of this program is to ensure there is constant video surveillance. We have the ability to record and store that footage at our district stations.”