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As the number of residents buying and selling goods online continues to increase, the potential for risks associated with these transactions does as well. Did you know that many police departments allow residents to carry-out internet sales transactions on police property? While each department might refer to it by a different name (Sales Transaction Zone, E-Commerce Exchange, etc.), the purpose remains the same: to provide consumers a level of comfort knowing they can make their transactions in a public place.

A few important details to keep in mind:

  • Transaction zones apply to legal transactions only.
  • Best practice suggests making transactions during daylight hours. While nighttime hours are not prohibited and most departments do not have specific hours they permit transactions to occur, meeting a stranger during daylight hours is wisest.
  • Interaction from police officers varies for each department. Locations are typically under 24/7 video surveillance and some department’s request you call ahead so they know what is occurring, however, many do not. Moreover, most departments have little to no oversight of the transaction: police do not supervise the transaction, confirm identities, or check the items to ensure authenticity or that they are not stolen.
  • Be wary of people unwilling to conduct business at the police station.
  • Always use caution. Making a transaction on police property does not guarantee your safety. Trust your instincts. If something feels uncomfortable, notify the police.

Below is a list of local police departments that allow sales transactions. The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation is grateful for the assistance of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association in collecting this information. If your town is not listed, that does not necessarily mean exchanges on police property are prohibited. Call your local police department and inquire.

Acton

Acton Police Department Lobby & Main Parking Lot

472 Main Street

Acton, MA 01720

 

Auburn**

Auburn Police Department Lobby & Parking Lot

416 Oxford St, North

Auburn, MA 01501

 

Ayer**

Ayer Police Department Lobby & Parking Lot

54 Park Street

Ayer, MA 01432

 

Bellingham*

Bellingham Police Department Front Parking Lot

30 Blackstone Street

Bellingham, MA 02019

 

Bernardston

Bernardston Police Department

256 South Street

Bernardston, MA 01337

 

Brewster* **

Brewster Police Department Parking Lot

631 Harwich Road

Brewster, MA 02631

 

Brookline

Brookline Police Department Lobby

350 Washington Street

Brookline, MA 02445

 

Chelmsford

Chelmsford Police Department Lobby & Front Parking Lot

2 Olde North Road

Chelmsford, MA 01824

 

Dartmouth

Dartmouth Police Department Parking Lot

249 Russells Mills Road

Dartmouth, MA 02748

 

Easton

Easton Police Department Front of Police Station

46 Lothrop Street

North Easton, MA 02356

 

Georgetown*

Georgetown Police Department Parking Lot

47 Central Street

Georgetown, MA 01833

 

Groveland**

Groveland Police Department Rear Parking Lot

181 Main Street

Groveland, MA 01834

-Daylight hours only

 

Hopedale*

Hopedale Police Department

70 Hopedale Street

Hopedale, MA 01747

 

Hudson*

Hudson Police Department East Parking Lot

62 Packard Street

Hudson, MA 01719

 

Leicester*

Leicester Police Department

90 S Main Street

Leicester, MA 01524

 

Littleton

Littleton Police Department Lobby & Parking Lot

500 Great Road

Littleton, MA 01460

 

Maynard

Maynard Police Department Lobby

197 Main Street

Maynard, MA

 

Milford

Milford Police Department Headquarters Lobby & Front of Police Station

250 Main Street

Milford, MA

 

Monson**

Monson Police Department Parking Lot

110 Main Street

Monson, MA 01057

 

New Bedford

New Bedford Police Department Headquarters

871 Rockdale Avenue

New Bedford, MA 02740

 

Northampton

Northampton Police Department Parking Lot

29 Center Street

Northampton, MA 01060

 

Northborough*

Northborough Police Department Public Parking Area

211 Main Street

Northborough, MA 01532

 

Northbridge

Northbridge Police Department Parking Lot

1 Hope Street

Whitinsville, MA 01588

 

Norton

Norton Police Department Parking Lot

82 East Main Street

Norton, MA 02766

 

Norwell

Norwell Police Department Front parking Lot

300A Washington Street

Norwell, MA 02061

 

Provincetown

Provincetown Police Department Rear Parking Lot

26 Shankpainter Road

Provincetown, MA 02657

 

Rochester

Rochester Police Department Parking Lot

29 Dexter Lane

Rochester, MA 02770

 

Sandwich

Sandwich Police Department Parking Lot

117MA-6A

Sandwich, MA 02563

 

Salem

Salem Police Department Parking Lot

95 Margin Street

Salem, MA 01970

 

Seekonk

Seekonk Police Department Lobby & Front Parking Lot

500 Taunton Avenue

Seekonk, MA 02771

-signs designating specific spaces are being acquired

 

Somerset

Somerset Police Department Parking Lot

465 County Street

Somerset, MA 02726

 

Southborough

Southborough Police Department Parking Lot

19 Main Street

Southborough, MA 01772

 

Stoughton

Stoughton Police Department Parking Lot

26 Rose Street

Stoughton, MA 02072

 

Sturbridge            

Sturbridge Police Department Lobby & Front Parking Lot

346 Main Street

Sturbridge, MA 01566

 

Tewksbury

Tewksbury Police Department Visitor Parking Lot

918 Main Street

Tewksbury, MA 01876

 

Upton:

Upton Police Department Parking Lot

30 School Street

Upton, MA 01568

 

West Bridgewater

West Bridgewater Police Department

99 W Center St # 2

West Bridgewater, MA 02379

 

Whitman

Whitman Police Department Lobby

20 Essex Street

Whitman, MA 02382

 

Yarmouth

Yarmouth Police Department Parking Lot

1 Erickson Way

Yarmouth, MA 02673

 

Coming Soon:

Blackstone

Blackstone Police Department

15 St Paul Street

Blackstone, MA 01504

 

Hadley

Hadley Police Department

15 East Street

Hadley, MA 01035

 

Ipswich**

Ipswich Police Department Back Parking Lot

15 Elm Street

Ipswich, MA 01938

 

North Attleboro

North Attleboro Police Department Parking Lot

102 South Washington Street

North Attleboro, MA 02760

 

Norwell

Norwell Police Department Front Parking Lot

300A Washington Street

Norwell, MA  02061

 

Truro**

Truro Police Department Lobby & Side Parking Lot

344 Route 6

Truro, MA 02666

 

*Denotes a designated parking space (marked with signage)

**Denotes residents must call ahead or check-in with dispatcher prior to meeting

 

If you have additional questions, contact the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation by calling our Consumer Hotline at (617) 973-8787, or toll-free in MA at (888) 283-3757, Monday through Friday, from 9 am-4:30 pm. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer. The Baker-Polito Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation is committed to protecting consumers through consumer advocacy and education.

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