VIDEO: South Jersey Police Department Installs Safe Transaction Space


CHERRY HILL - The Cherry Hill Police Department installed a safe transaction space in front of the municipal building for in-person purchases.
“We have a large retail base in Cherry Hill, with the Cherry Hill Mall, different locations," said Chief William Monaghan, Cherry Hill Police Department. "High Profile locations. We’ve had incidents in the past where people have purchased items online and they responded to what they thought were safe locations and in turn, were victims of a crime or fraud.”
The Cherry Hill Police Department figured out a way to prevent crimes that stem from in-person purchases and launched their Safe Transaction Zone just in time for the holiday season, right inside of their municipal building.
“We had one case where a person responded to the Cherry Hill Mall," said Chief Monaghan. "They thought they were purchasing iPhones, they ended up buying a box of rocks. So, we feel that by rolling out a safe transaction zone, a location at the police department provides a safe alternative for people and that if they’re dealing with someone who has ulterior motives, they’re not going to follow through with the transaction if it’s here.”
Making safe transactions at the Cherry Hill Police Department is simple. For those smaller purchases, there is 24/7 access inside the station, with an officer standing close by. For bigger purchases that require outside trading, there’s constant video surveillance surrounding the station. All you have to do is look for the yellow sign.
“The other night we saw, I actually saw two pickup trucks out there and they were doing a transaction for a quad, so we know people are using the locations,” said Chief Monaghan.
“I think it’s a great idea," said Alexander Tchubiy, Cherry Hill resident. "I mean, if you sell something online and someone comes to your home, you can get robbed, shot, whatever, you know? Here, you have cameras, you have police everywhere. Nobody’s going to steal anything, nobody’s going to beat you up, so I think it’s a good idea in the end.”
The safe transaction space is open up to anyone nearby who wants to use it. The police station is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so an officer will always be close by.
“People might have negative feelings about a police station, but this is something we want them to feel positive about and take part in, and might change their perceptions of what police do and what we can offer the citizens,” said Chief Monaghan.
Although the officers won’t authenticate any of the items being sold, visitors are guaranteed that human element of safety.

SNJ Today is a Southern New Jersey news and information source based in Millville, New Jersey that is dedicated to providing current stories related specifically to South Jersey.