Easily recognizable by its bright green stripes and signage, Sea Isle City’s new “Exchange Zone” consists of two curbside parking spaces in front of City Hall, home of the Sea Isle City Police Department. Created so residents and visitors can conduct internet business with strangers in a public area that is under constant surveillance, the Exchange Zone is free to use and conveniently located. Shown standing in the Exchange Zone on April 23 are (from left) Police Chief Thomas McQuillen; Code Enforcement Officer Brian Teefy, Mayor’s Assistant Pattiann Ponichtera, Mayor Leonard Desiderio, and City Solicitor Paul Baldini.

SEA ISLE CITY — The city Police Department has created a new “Exchange Zone” in front of City Hall at 233 JFK Blvd., where residents and visitors can conduct legal transactions in a public setting that is easily accessible and under constant surveillance.

The Exchange Zone can be used when conducting internet business with strangers and during other person-to-person transactions, such as child custody exchanges.

Located along the curb, the two parking spaces that make up Sea Isle City’s new Exchange Zone are very easy to identify, thanks to their bright green stripes and signage. There is no fee to use the Exchange Zone.

While the Exchange Zone provides an area for online buyers and sellers to meet, it is important to remember that the people you encounter online are strangers and can be dangerous. When making arrangements to complete online transactions face-to-face, residents are reminded to:

• Complete all transactions during daylight hours, if possible.

• Bring a cell phone in case of emergency.

• Notify friends or family about the details of the exchange beforehand.

• Never invite strangers into your vehicle or home — or enter a stranger’s car or agree to meet at a stranger’s home.

• Reconsider any transaction with an individual who refuses to meet at a designated Exchange Zone.

• In the event of any emergency, dial 911.

The Sea Isle City Police Department will not verify, monitor or facilitate private transactions that are conducted within the Exchange Zone. Any complaints regarding transactions occurring in the Exchange Zone should follow normal criminal or civil complaint procedures.

“When Detective Sgt. Bill Bradshaw first approached me with the idea for this concept, it became immediately apparent that this program would greatly benefit our residents and visitors,” said police Chief Tom McQuillen. “Sgt. Bradshaw worked with Lt. Bill Mammele and traffic maintenance Supervisor Brian Teefy to gather information and bring this project to completion.”

“I think Sea Isle City’s new Exchange Zone will be put to good use,” Mayor Leonard Desiderio said. “People will feel more at ease meeting someone and completing transactions in a safe, monitored area.”

To learn more about the Sea Isle City Police Department, follow them on Facebook or see seaislecitynj.us and visit the department’s home page.

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