The New Bedford Police Department recently declared a section of the parking lot at the police station at 871 Rockdale Ave. an Internet Purchase Safe Exchange Zone.

Lt. Amos Melo told WBSM News the location will serve as a way for those looking to sell or buy items online to meet in a safe, neutral location.

"I know alot of people are fearful about who they're going to encounter during these transactions," said Melo "and not knowing where to actually meet these people, alot of people are reluctant to have the online purchase come to their house, or go to their house."

Melo says it can be reasuring to people to meet in an area that is under constant surveillance with police officers close by should trouble arise.

"They can rest assured that the parking lot is being monitored by a surveillance camera system that is being monitored 24/7," said Melo "that is a police station so there is activity going in and out of the station throughout the day and any time of the night."

While the official declaration was made earlier this month Melo says that it won't be the first time people who were concerned about safety used the spot to conduct a transaction.

"Unofficially we've had some people actually use this parking lot for some transactions," said Melo "we actually use it for a drop off and pick-up for child custody cases also where restraining orders are in place," said Melo.

Melo says no appointment or notification is needed to use the lot for transactions.

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