Oconto County Sheriff's Office creates safe exchange area

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Monitored zone for child custody exchanges and internet sales

Times Herald Staff

Signs designate the area in the Law Enforcement Center parking lot where custody exchanges or internet sales can be safely carried out. (Photo by Oconto County Sheriff's Office)

The Oconto County Sheriff’s Office has established a safe area for two common interactions that can carry a risk: the exchange of children in shared child custody and the purchase or sale of goods over the internet.

The safe exchange area in the parking lot near the front entrance of the Law Enforcement Center is intended to be a safe place to conduct a child custody exchange or to conduct the purchase and/or sale of a legal product arranged through a private party over the internet, the sheriff’s department announced.

The area is monitored by surveillance cameras 24 hours a day, seven days a week year-round.

“In the event of an unwanted occurrence during the exchange, you will not only be close to the sheriff’s office to report the incident, but the incident should also be recorded,” the announcement said. “We encourage everyone to use this area for these exchanges to prevent any unwanted crime or harassment to occur.”

Signs denoting the exchange area have been posted near the Law Enforcement Center’s parking lot entrance off Arbutus and Adams streets in Oconto, in the same block as the County Courthouse where the old sheriff’s office was located.

If vehicles are parked in the spaces in front of the signs, any of the parking spaces near the signs or the parking spaces around the front entrance are suitable to use, unless otherwise marked.

The Wisconsin Crime Prevention Practitioners Association donated the internet exchange sign.