ASU offers online exchange zone at PD HQ

ASU is now offering a safe way for students and staff to sell items online to people they don't know. It's called an "Online Exchange Zone," inside the lobby of the police station that is under constant surveillance.

When you're in school and on a tight budget, buying and selling items on Craigslist or eBay sounds like a good idea. But meeting a stranger to exchange goods in a random place can be dangerous. So ASU has created a special zone to complete transactions.

"In my hometown there was a Facebook page online where you would sell and stuff, and I did that a couple times, and there was always that little fear in me that it wasn't safe," said Shelby, an ASU student.

ASU student Shelby isn't alone. Meeting a total stranger to exchange items you bought or sold online can be unnerving. That's why ASU has created a new "online exchange zone"; a safe place to complete transactions, inside ASU Police Department Headquarters.

"Normally people will go to a parking lot somewhere, maybe not very well lit, we're giving them an option to come to a location where we deem it's nice and safe. It's in the police lobby, so what safer place can you really be," said Sgt. Daniel Macias.

Sergeant Daniel Macias says the idea for the "online exchange zone" came from a colleague. Any ASU student, faculty or staff can utilize the zone by signing into a log book then exchanging goods here in the lobby. Every transaction is recorded on security cameras, helping students feel safer.

"I feel like having a safe place at the police department would really be helpful just as an incentive to a way to earn money without the risk," said Uloma, an ASU student.

"I've met people in parking lots to buy stuff before, it's kind of sketchy, but this would be a much better alternative to something like that," said Caleb, an ASU student.

"If you have somebody that may be uncomfortable or maybe says 'I don't want to go to the police department to do that transaction' there might be a reason that that's happening, so it should make you question that activity," said Sgt. Macias.

Macias says ASU is the first university in the state offering the concept. The zone is open Monday thru Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.