Sea Isle City Debuts Exchange Zone to Help Residents Safely Meet Online Buyers and Sellers

Easily recognizable by its bright green stripes and signage, Sea Isle City’s new “Exchange Zone” consists of two curbside parking spaces in front of City Hall, home of the Sea IsleCity Police Department. Created so residents and visitors can conduct internet business with strangers in a public area that is under constant surveillance, the Exchange Zone is free to use and conveniently located. Shown standing in the Exchange Zone on April 23 are (from left) Police Chief Thomas McQuillen; Code Enforcement Officer Brian Teefy, Mayor’s Assistant Pattiann Ponichtera, Mayor Leonard Desiderio, and City Solicitor Paul Baldini.

SEA ISLE CITY, N.J – With the rise of Facebook Marketplace and the continued use of Craigslist, the Sea Isle City Police Department (SICPD) has created an Exchange Zone where residents can safely meet online buyers and sellers for legal transactions.

Located in front of City Hall residents will recognize the Exchange Zone by its bright green stripes and signage. The zone can also be used for other person-to-person interactions such as child custody exchanges.

The Exchange Zone is also free to use.

“When Detective Sergeant Bill Bradshaw first approached me with the idea for this concept, it became immediately apparent that this program would greatly benefit our residents and visitors,” SICPD Chief Tom McQuillen said. “Sergeant Bradshaw worked with Lt. Bill Mammele and Traffic Maintenance Supervisor Brian Teefy to gather information and bring this project to completion.”

“I think Sea Isle City’s new Exchange Zone will be put to good use,” Mayor Leonard Desiderio said.  “People will feel more at ease meeting someone and completing transactions in a safe, monitored area.”

The Sea Isle City Police Department will not verify, monitor or facilitate private transactions that are conducted within the Exchange Zone. Any complaints regarding transactions occurring in the Exchange Zone should follow normal criminal or civil complaint procedures. 

The SICPD have some tips for people making arrangements to use the Exchange Zone to protect themselves:

  • Complete all transactions during daylight hours, if possible.
  • Bring a cell phone in case of emergency.
  • Notify friends or family about the details of the exchange beforehand.
  • Never invite strangers into your vehicle or home – or enter a stranger’s car or agree to meet at a stranger’s home.
  • Reconsider any transaction with an individual who refuses to meet at a designated “Exchange Zone.”
  • In the event of any emergency dial 911.