Police department advertises safe place for internet deals with officer ‘standing by’

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MOORESVILLE, Ind. -- A local police department is not only offering its headquarters as a place to buy and sell items, it's advertising that officers will standby as you make a transaction.

Mooresville police posted a sign outside their offices Tuesday that reads, "Internet Purchase Exchange Location," listing a number "for dispatch to have an officer standby."

Chief Richard Allen said he got the idea from another department in North Carolina, and decided to replicate their sign after he heard from a young man in Mooresville who was scammed out of $250 by a buyer who gave him counterfeit money.

Allen said that as long as an officer is not busy on another call, they will come out to observe your transaction, even helping to ensure it's legitimate.

"He can observe the transaction. If it’s something with a serial number we can run it, check it for stolen for you, (and) check the currency for you," Allen said.

Mooresville resident Stephen Luedeman, who has sold items online before, said he thinks the it's a good idea.

"You’re going to be on camera, you’re going to have bright lights on you. People will feel more safe," Leudeman said.

Other residents seemed to agree. A Facebook post on the Mooresville Police page had almost 2,000 likes and more than 1,500 shares by Tuesday night.

Most police departments offer a safe place to make transactions, but don't advertise it as visibly as Mooresville. Allen said he hoped residents would take advantage of the service.

"There’s no fee, we’re not charging anything. This is your tax dollars at work," Allen said.

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