Safe, public internet exchange space created in Southwick

Two spaces designated for public exchanges are now located at the Southwick Police headquarters on Depot Street. (SOUTHWICK POLICE PHOTO)

SOUTHWICK – Southwick Police Chief Kevin A. Bishop this week took a proactive approach to keep residents safe when selling and buying items online.

Bishop has designated two parking spaces in front of police headquarters on Depot Street for people to meetup for internet purchase exchanges.

“This was an idea that came from the International Police Chiefs Conference last year,” Bishop said. “I thought it was a great idea.”

Bishop said he has heard of internet exchanges taking a bad turn and wanted to offer a place for residents to safely buy and sell items.

“There have been incidents of robberies and assaults, and although that has not been the case here in Southwick, I don’t want to wait until something like that happens,” Bishop said.

Bishop said in today’s age people are constantly searching the internet for goods and services and, with the vast amount of people reached via the internet, it’s always a little bit safer meeting in a public space.

“We have 24-hour video surveillance so if there ever is an incident, we can see it,” Bishop said. “And, being at the police station would likely discourage scams.”

Bishop said the signs were donated by OfferUp, an online, mobile-centered marketplace with most transactions taking place in-person. Bishop said he was grateful to the company for offering the signs and creating a safe place for exchanges. He added that the space can also be used by families who need to meet for custody exchanges.

“This is just another way to keep residents safe,” said Bishop.

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