NEAR WEST SIDE — There's always a risk that an online exchange through Craigslist or another site could turn ugly.
That's why the police at the University of Illinois at Chicago have designated a safe exchange zone at the UIC Police station, 943 W. Maxwell St.
"In the media, we've seen that people become victims of violent encounters during these exchanges," said Stanley Grice, captain of administrative services.
People can carry out transactions made online or make child custody exchanges at the station, which is marked by a blue sign. The space will be an ideal spot for students to exchange textbooks and help people avoid fraud-related losses.
The police station is open 24 hours with constant video surveillance. UIC Police also will supply a tablet that buyers and sellers can use in the exchange area, which is on the ground floor of the station.
The only items that can't be exchanged at the new area are weapons, as they are prohibited on campus.
Free parking is available next to the police station along Morgan and Maxwell streets.
UIC isn't the first to offer a safe place for such transactions; in February, one North Side police district did the same.