City Times Staff
Chief Deputy Dan Kontos (left) and Sheriff Mike Lukas stand next to the county’s first official “safe exchange” location in front of the Portage Co. Jail on Tuesday.
Lukas said the sign, which was just installed Tuesday morning, offers residents buying or selling merchandise via the Internet a designated safe place to exchange money and goods.
The new space was Kontos’ idea, modeled after a similar such area in Weyauwega.
“So when you buy things from people on Facebook, Craigslist, anywhere online, instead of having that person come to your house, you can do it in front of the sheriff’s office where there are cameras,” Lukas said.
Lukas said people interested in purchasing a used vehicle from a newspaper ad could also use the space to meet with the owner and inspect the vehicle.
“When somebody comes to your house, what do they see? Your valuables, everything you own,” Lukas said, “and then all of a sudden you get robbed the next day.”
The location is monitored by law enforcement security cameras — with law enforcement personnel just inside the doors — 24 hours a day.
The Internet Purchase Exchange Location is located in front of the Portage Co. Jail, 1500 Strongs Avenue.