Tis the season for swapping


The Crestview Police Department has set up a safe swap zone in front of Whitehurst Municipal Building for people to complete online transactions under 24-hour surveillance cameras. (Crestview Police Department photo)

CRESTVIEW, Fla., Nov. 30, 2017–Crestview Police Department is offering a safe location for holiday bargain hunters to complete online transactions.

A safe swap zone, implemented this summer, is available in a section of the parking lot in front of Whitehurst Municipal Building at 201 Stillwell Blvd. It’s well lit and under 24-hour surveillance.

At the CPD’s safe swap zone, holiday bargain hunters can set up a safe swap location to complete transactions on social media sites such as Craigslist, Freecycle and Swap.com.

Under 24-hour daily video surveillance, activity in the zone is covered by the same security system that protects police headquarters, with digital video back-up on a two-week loop, so any questionable exchanges can be immediately reviewed.

“We can’t completely stop fraudulent swaps from occurring,” Police Chief Tony Taylor said. “But our safe swap zone will certainly discourage most con artists, none of whom like the idea of being clearly captured on security cameras.”

Taylor said the safe swap zone also has other benefits, such as providing a safe place for estranged parents to exchange children from one former spouse’s custody to the other’s care.

If necessary, a police officer can be called to supervise the custody exchange simply by requesting one at the police department’s dispatch center window inside the Whitehurst Building or calling 850-682-2055.


CPD’s safe swap zone provides 24-hour surveillance. (CPD photo)

While the CPD can’t always track down hoaxers — who usually operate under fake names and use temporary accounts they often abandon right after sales — the agency can offer a safer place to bring sellers and buyers together.

With the implementation of the CPD’s safe swap zone, residents will have a secure location where such transactions are recorded on security video and potential hoaxers can possibly be identified.

Crestview Police Department news release


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