E-Commerce Exchange Zones

To combat robberies in the District, DC Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) have designated three Exchange Zone areas. These areas will serve as a safe place for residents and visitors to exchange and complete transactions of online purchases.

  1. Third District station at 1620 V St. NW;
  2. Sixth District station at 5002 Hayes St. NE; and
  3. The Harbor Unit at 550 Water St. SW.

* Officers in the stations will not mediate between sellers and buyers, and will not stand guard during a transaction. However, there will be armed officers in the stations and the front desks are staffed at all times.

For more information, go to http://mpdc.dc.gov/release/mpd-announces-exchange-zone-locations

In the News:

D.C. police to open stations for people to safely exchange goods bought on Internet (Washington Post, Apr. 21, 2016)

The idea is to provide a safe place for strangers to conduct business that most often involves cash — and which led to buyers or sellers being unwittingly lured into a robbery more than 50 times in the past year. Several involved guns, police said, and in one, a person’s vehicle was stolen in a carjacking.

All sales final: Cities provide e-commerce zones to thwart crime (USA Today, Apr. 21, 2016)

On Thursday [April 21, 2016], Washington, D.C., joined the growing list of cites providing e-commerce safe zones designed to curb the crime that can occur when closing an online deal. The city unveiled three “Exchange Zone” areas, well-lit and near police stations, “giving Washingtonians a safe place to purchase or exchange property,” Washington Police Chief Cathy Lanier said.

The crimes the zones target can be more serious than theft. Advanced Interactive Media Group (AIM), an industry watchdog, says more than 100 murders have taken place through Craigslist connections.