The Clovis Police Department has the distinction of being among the first law enforcement agencies in the Valley to offer a safe meeting place for private party transactions. This means that those who use Craigslist, eBay and classified ads now have added security for what is known as a “Face Spot” – a location where buyer and seller meet in person.
It works like this: People conducting a private party transaction arrange to meet in the parking lot in front of the Clovis Police Headquarters at 1233 Fifth Street, east of the library. No reservations are needed. There are two parking stalls marked “Exchange Zone” painted in black and green stripes that are to be used for this purpose. The area is well lighted and under constant video surveillance.
There will not be a police officer present for transactions. City of Clovis employees cannot give legal advice, act as witnesses or settle civil disputes related to the transaction. The intent of the program is to prevent participants from becoming victims by discouraging fraudulent and illegal transactions. In this way the privacy and safety of everyone is maintained, something not always possible if the exchange takes place at a private residence or other locations.
“Buying and selling personal items can be dangerous,” says Corporal Jared Binford, who researched the programs other jurisdictions have in place. “We wanted to find out what worked and what didn’t and to have something that looked professional and has purpose. It was a matter of getting everything to come together.”
The idea first took root when shared by a Clovis resident with Clovis council member, Lynne Ashbeck. She contacted the Clovis Police Department and after some research, it was decided to dedicate two parking spaces in order to offer residents a safe method to carry out private transactions.
“Clovis remains the best community in the Valley because our residents care…get involved…suggest ideas…and our City staff considers those ideas carefully and implements them when we can,” says Ashbeck. “Prescription drug drop off boxes, ‘no smoking’ signs along the trail and ‘take one/share one’ library kiosks along the trail all came from an idea of our residents. Residents call the Graffiti Hotline, pick up trash when they are out for a walk, and keep an eye out for their neighbors…our residents are engaged in Clovis in ways big and small.
“Clovis Police Department is the best around and works hard every day to proactively build our community and prevent crime rather than just react to it. A safe place for residents to make online transactions is a very proactive approach to situations where we know things can sometimes go wrong.
“Safety is one of the leading reasons folks call Clovis ‘home’…and this Exchange Zone is just one more way to contribute to a safe community.”
For more information visit http://www.ci.clovis.ca.us/Depts-Services/Police-Department or call 559.324.2400.