BEND, OR -- There's a new parking spot lined in blue paint at the main Sheriff’s Office in Bend. Sheriff Shane Nelson says it's designed for people who need a safe, public place to meet, "Law enforcement is known as the 'thin blue line,' protecting our community. The Sheriff's 'Blue Line Safety Zone' provides a safer, video recorded, public area for parent exchanges of children, as well as in-person transactions following online sales."
Sgt. William Bailey says the area is under 24-hour surveillance, "Although we do not monitor the location 24-hours a day, we are available, should the need arise, through either recalling video surveillance or investigating incidents there." He tells KBND News the location in front of the Sheriff's Office should make criminals think twice, "Our hope is that those that would do harm or attempt to defraud our community members are less likely to do that in a location like our parking lot."
Sgt. Bailey cautions that meeting strangers to complete an online transaction comes with inherent risk and should be done carefully and in a public place. The Blue Line Safety Zone is not specifically patrolled but Deputies are always available in an emergency, by calling 911.