A safety zone where Lake Saint Louis residents can conduct exchanges of merchandise is now available at the city hall parking lot at 200 Civic Center Drive.
Police Chief Michael T. Force said the idea is to provide a public location where people can exchange goods, particularly if they are making transactions using Craig’s List or other buy or sell online trade sites.
Force told the city’s Board of Aldermen at a July 6 meeting that the step was a means of assuring people who often had never met the persons they may be doing business with online. It’s similar to custody exchanges of children involving divorced parents, which can also take place on the parking lot.
Many residents don’t want the exchanges conducted at their homes or businesses.
“It gives people some peace of mind,” Force said.
The city has video cameras, but Force said police will not be involved in transactions or disputes nor are police going to use its state computer system to look up information.
People can ask for help and dispatchers in the police office will monitor the situation.
“If there is an issue, we certainly can respond to that,” Force said.
People can contact the department at (636) 625-8018 to notify police that someone wants to meet at the parking lot for an exchange and police will respond to any criminal report.
Force asked that residents avoid calling the police for exchanges after 4 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday evenings due to city government and municipal court meetings.
Chesterfield, Wentzville and other local municipalities have similar “safe exchange zones” for Craigslist and other sales transactions.