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Lincoln police will provide a well-lit, surveillance-monitored location for people to meet for transactions arranged online and child custody exchanges, officials said Tuesday.

Two marked parking spots at the department's Center Team substation on 27th and Holdrege streets will be available for exchanges in the "Swap Spot" project later this month, Officer Andrew Gallagher said.

Exchanges can also be made during business hours inside the substation, he said.

Gallagher adapted Swap Spot from another national police program aimed at reducing robberies and fraud rooted in meetings arranged online for Craigslist sales and other transactions, he said.

In 2015, Lincoln had eight robberies that stemmed from Craigslist transactions, Gallagher said.

Under the program, officers will not act as witnesses or mediators, and 911 must be called in emergencies for assistance. 

Weapons, drugs, medication or hazardous chemicals or explosives may not be exchanged at Swap Spot.

Children may not be left unattended at the substation, Gallagher said.

Police have installed new surveillance cameras using department funds to monitor the Swap Spot exchange area, he said.

Surveillance footage of the transaction area will be kept for 30 days, so anyone experiencing issues with the items they receive at the Swap Spot should call police within that time frame, he said.

"We're just trying to provide you another option to make these trades so you feel safe," Gallagher said.

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Riley Johnson reports on breaking news and public safety issues in Lincoln and southeast Nebraska.

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