Norfolk Police work to make e-commerce safer

NORFOLK, Va. - The Norfolk Police Department has designated "E-commerce Exchange Zones."

The areas are considered to be safe locations to meet with strangers from the Internet to exchange purchased items or to complete transactions started online.

We've all heard of those horror stories where people meet in person after an online introduction only to get robbed, but now police have created a more secure place to avoid that from happening.

The exchange zones are at several police buildings including:

  • 3661 East Virginia Beach Boulevard
  • 2500 North Military Highway
  • 901 Ashbury Avenue in Norfolk

The Norfolk Police Department has assigned the e-commerce exchange zones for people to make their money or product exchanges more safe and convenient.

"That's neat. I didn't know that at all," said Norfolk resident, Rumeal McCray.

McCray says his mother makes frequent purchases through Craig's List and that someone is always with her to complete the transaction.

"She usually gets me or my brother to go with her to the address to meet the person."

The e-commerce exchange zones started this week after residence voiced their concerns to the Norfolk Police Chief.

"Community members talked to him, asked him if he could designate a safe place for them to come on to the property to do those exchanges," said Daniel Hudson, Public Information Officer for the police department.

People can make their exchanges inside the police building lobby or in the exchange zone signs with added security.

"We strategically placed our parking spaces near our video surveillance cameras so people can see that they're being watched by the camera and anyone coming on here is subject to 24 hour surveillance license," Hudson added.

Although these exchange zones are a safe place to meet, the Norfolk Police Department stress to neighbors that it's not a place to drop your items for postal service pick up.