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Prince William County Police Department

Exchange Zones

The Prince William County Police Department offers our community residents an “Exchange Zone” at our three district stations. These spaces are designated with signage and are for residents who wish to meet one another and exchange items that have been bought or sold using online sites. The spaces can also be used for residents who may want a safe location to drop-off or pick-up children from the other parent. These spaces allow for parking up to 15 minutes and are located in the front parking lot of our Central District Station in Woodbridge/Mid-County and our Western District Station in Manassas. While we do not have designated spaces at our Eastern District Station off Jefferson Davis Hwy in Eastern Woodbridge, residents can use the public lobby to conduct the exchange. We recommend any transactions take place during daytime hours. The parking lots and lobby have video surveillance; however, the cameras is not actively monitored at all times.

*Please note, an officer will not standby while the transaction is conducted. If you need police assistance, you can request an officer by calling 9-1-1 in cases of an emergency or the non-emergency line at 703-792-6500. 

The idea on the Exchange Zone is to cut down on potential fraud and robberies, or domestic altercations that can be associated with these types of exchanges. While these zones may not work for every online sales transaction or domestic exchange, the area is open to all County residents. The exchange zone is intended to give residents an environment for exchanges, where police are nearby if needed. The Police Department continues to recommend that anyone conducting an exchange of this type remain vigilant and be very aware of potential safety concerns. Residents may still come inside the station and use the front lobby area to make exchanges if safety is a concern.

Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind when conducting such transactions:

  • Only do transactions with local buyers/sellers 
  • Do not go to a transaction alone
  • Make sure a friend or family member is aware of the transaction details
  • Insist on meeting in a public area like our safe transaction zone 
  • Complete the transaction during daylight hours 
  • Be extra cautious when buying or selling valuable items such as vehicles and jewelry 
  • Only use cash or money orders to complete your transactions 
  • Trust your instincts, if it sounds like a scam it probably is 
  • If somebody is not willing to come to the police department to do an exchange it is probably not a legitimate transaction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Expand all
  • Where are exchange zones available?
  • Can I use the lobby instead of the parking lot?
  • Can an officer standby with me during the exchange?
  • What if I need an officer?
  • What types of exchanges can be done in these zones?

For more information, please contact the Crime Prevention Unit by calling 703-792-7270 or email.