City finds safe exchange zones

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By Andrea Cordle
Southwest Editor

Grove City residents have been asking for a safe place to exchange online purchased products. Now, they’ve got it.

The Grove City Division of Police, in partnership with Jackson Township, established two Internet purchase exchange zones in response to safety concerns from citizens regarding person-to-person exchanges of sales arranged online.

“People are looking for a safe place,” said Tom Durflinger, community relations supervisor with the Grove City Division of Police.

The two exchange zones in Grove City are located at City Hall, 4035 Broadway and the Jackson Township Administration Building, 3756 Hoover Road. The zones are identified by signage next to designated parking spaces at each location and each are under video surveillance 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“We were looking for safe, public places and these two areas already had cameras installed,” said Durflinger. “They are also on different sides of town, so it makes it convenient.”

Residents can use the exchange zones to conduct their transactions, knowing the interaction will be recorded.

“We encourage citizens to be in control of these exchanges using situational awareness and arranging meetings at either of the designated zones,” said Grove City Mayor Richard “Ike” Stage. “This safety step was taken as the result of effective community engagement by our division of police.”

According to Durflinger, there has not been many issues reported in Grove City regarding internet exchanges going bad, but it happens in many other communities. Durflinger said someone was recently shot in Columbus during an exchange. He said other crimes include robbery, people using counterfeit money and people just driving off with the merchandise without paying.

“If someone has bad intentions, they will not want to meet at one of these safe locations,” said Durflinger. “I hope people take advantage of these safe zones.”

Along with meeting in a safe, public location, Durflinger advises residents to trust their gut when going into these situations.

“If something doesn’t feel right, just don’t do it,” he said.

The Internet purchase exchange zones are recorded but not monitored by an officer all day long. If a situation should arise, residents are encouraged to call 911.

For more information on the exchange zones, contact the Grove City Division of Police at 614-277-1710.

 

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