Photo by WJFW Newswatch 12
Stevens Point Police Department adds new "Safety Exchange Points" at facility
Story By Georgina Fernandez
Local News Published 07/19/2021 5:50PM, Last Updated 07/21/2021 2:34PM
Stevens Point - The Stevens Point Police Department has added new "Safety Exchange Points" outside their department to help families during custody exchanges.
"Sometimes a child exchanges things that are court-ordered. Don't always go as planned. Parents aren't always on the best terms," said Lt. Jeremy Mueller of the Stevens Point Police Department.
The points provide a neutral, safe meeting ground for exchanges to be done. The new addition comes after the SPPD realized they were lacking surveillance footage of custody exchanges.
"We had a citizen come in requesting video footage of a child custody that was done here at the PD. We were made aware of the area he was requesting we didn't have footage of," Mueller said.
The drop-off location, located right in front of the department, allows a safe, 24/7 monitored surveillance drop-off location for families during exchanges. If an issue arises, families can get a copy of the surveillance footage.
"Make an open records request at our records window," Mueller said. "We would have to go back and find it and it would take a couple days, but they would get the footage."
However, the system is not limited to custody exchanges. The locations also provide a safe place for those wanting to sell items online, allowing neither party to have to expose information such where they live.
"This is another option for them to have a nice, neutral place for them to meet and keep their privacy but still have those purchases made," Mueller said.
These drop-off points now join similar ones seen outside of Portage County Sheriff's Department to help ensure safety throughout the community.
"This is just something that makes it easier for people to feel more comfortable with and proceed with their purchases," Mueller said.