EMPORIA (KSNT) – The Sheriff’s Department has a new way to exchange purchases or sales made on Craigslist while keeping you safe.

It’s called the “safe zone,” a safe and well-lit place that can be used by people who are doing custody exchanges or buying, selling, or trading items purchased online.

There are signs and designated parking areas where people can safely meet with someone they may or may not know. What makes this place different from what most law enforcement agencies offer is it’s monitored 24/7 and recorded.

“When it’s not light, after when most people get off of work at 5 o’clock, it’s well lighted and it is under video surveillance,” says Undersheriff John Koelsch with the Lyon County Sheriff’s Department. He adds that it is good for child custody exchanges, because “Emporia sits right on I-35 in the turnpike.”

Surveillance monitoring is not offered in Topeka or Manhattan, but law enforcement officials say anyone is welcome to use their parking lots or lobby for exchanges. Also, many law enforcement agencies offer to have an officer standing by if you feel the situation may need it.