The Brownwood Police Department and Brown County Sheriff’s Office Announce a Better, Safer Way to Conduct Online Initiated Transactions and Exchanges
Press Release – Brown County residents who use online websites, electronic bulletin boards or traditional media classified to buy and sell merchandise may now conduct the merchandise exchange in the new “Exchange Zone” at the Brown County Law Enforcement Center.
It is an unfortunate reality that the practice of inviting unknown buyers or sellers of merchandise into your home or meeting in public parking lots could result in unintended or harmful consequences. The Law Enforcement Center’s public parking lot and front lobby offer a safer alternative to conduct pre-arranged merchandise exchanges.
The goal of the “Exchange Zone” initiative is to help reduce victimization and prevent illegal transactions. This offer does not include transactions involving the sale of any contraband, stolen property, or the sale of illegal items or prohibited services.
For transaction purposes, the Brownwood Police Department and Brown County Sheriff’s Office personnel may not act in any capacity as an official witness to or broker any transaction. They are not available for legal advice or to settle civil disputes related to the transaction. The “Exchange Zone” has been established to simply provide a safer environment for the exchange of merchandise between private parties. The Police Department and Sheriff’s Office will intervene in the event an emergency arises.
The public parking lot and lobby of the Law Enforcement Center is designated for transactions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please notify the on-duty personnel at the Law Enforcement Center of your presence and your intention to engage in an exchange before your transaction. An appointment is not required. Our designated “Exchange Zone” space is typically covered by video surveillance equipment.
For more information about the “Exchange Zone” initiative, please contact Chief Terry Nichols or Sheriff Vance Hill at 325-646-2525.
Concerns and precautions to consider when conducting online and in-person transactions:
- Be very suspicious of a buyer or seller who changes the agreed upon location.
- Always meet the buyer or seller in a public location with people around.
- Always take someone with you. Notify the buyer or seller you will not be alone.
- Trust your instincts! If it sounds too good to be true or a scam, it probably is.
- Complete the transactions during daylight hours.
- Strongly consider using the Exchange Zone at the Brown County Law Enforcement Center.