DeLand makes safe place for strangers to do business

Buy, sell here — This sign designates one of two parking spaces at the DeLand Police Department, 219 W. Howry Ave., where residents are invited to close sales arranged via the internet. Residents are also invited to use the Police Department lobby. Both areas are under video surveillance, the city sald.

Buy, sell here — This sign designates one of two parking spaces at the DeLand Police Department, 219 W. Howry Ave., where residents are invited to close sales arranged via the internet. Residents are also invited to use the Police Department lobby. Both areas are under video surveillance, the city sald.

PHOTO COURTESY CITY OF DELAND

DeLand residents who make arrangements on the internet to buy or sell items now have a safe place to make the transaction.

The DeLand Police Department has designated two parking spaces in front of the Police Department at 219 W. Howry Ave., for internet transactions and trades.

People who buy and sell via the internet often are concerned about inviting strangers to their homes to complete the sale, especially if valuable items or large amounts of cash are involved.

The designated location is designed to provide an area where residents can feel safe when they conduct business, according to City of DeLand spokesman Chris Graham.

The designated area is under video surveillance and provides good lighting at night, though the Police Department strongly recommends that these types of exchanges be made during daylight hours. Residents may also use the Police Department lobby, which is also under video surveillance.

“When you are selling an item to a stranger, there’s always a potential for a person to be a victim of criminal activity,” Police Chief Jason Umberger said. “While we want to remind people to remain alert while conducting business with a stranger, this program helps to create a safer environment and reduces the level of fear for residents who are making these exchanges.”

— Barb Shepherd

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