The Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office has a Safe Exchange Zone designated for residents meeting for child custody exchanges or when buying or selling items online. Two parking stalls in front of the Crow Wing County Judicial Center located at 213 Laurel Street in Brainerd have been clearly marked as the safe exchange zone. The safe exchange zone is in full view of security cameras in order to facilitate a smoother exchange. The safe exchange zone can be utilized 24-hours a day.
The Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office is hopeful that having a safe place to meet will provide parents peace of mind when exchanging custody of their children. The Sheriff's Office also wants to assist residents with their purchases and exchanges in order to help prevent them from being scammed or robbed. Hopefully, meeting a stranger in a public place, while being recorded, will make residents feel safer.
When making arrangements to complete online transactions face-to-face, residents should remember to:
- Complete all transactions during daylight hours, when possible.
- Bring a cell phone, in case of an emergency.
- Notify friends or family about the details of the exchange beforehand.
- Never meet in a secluded area.
- Never invite strangers to your home or agree to meet at a stranger's home.
- Reconsider any transaction with an individual who refuses to meet at a designated "safe exchange zone."
- Use your instincts. If a deal is too good to be true, it probably is. Be cautious when purchasing/selling a high priced item.
Below are pictures of the safe exchange zone and the parking spots to be utilized: