Buyers of items advertised online are encouraged to meet up with sellers in or in front of police stations where transactions can be monitored and help is at hand in case of illegal activity.
I could not attend the event, but here is a press statement:
"Mayor Adrian O. Mapp is pleased to announce the City of Plainfield ' s newest public safety initiative, an Internet Purchase Exchange Zone.
The City's initiative will afford Internet buyers and sellers to complete their Internet exchanges in front of Plainfield Police Division Headquarters, located at 200 East Fourth Street, Plainfield, NJ.
Two parking spots have been designated in front of headquarters for the initiative which will be monitored by police officers.
Mayor Mapp hopes the program will give residents who conduct transactions on the Internet a safe place to facilitate their Internet purchases/sales."
In general, such programs urge participants to exercise caution in carrying cash or accepting checks. Police will not get involved in buyer-seller disputes over terms of transactions, but meeting at a police station is deemed safer than carrying out a deal in public places such as shopping center parking lots. A website called SafeTrade has more suggestions for ensuring personal safety in completing online deals.