Safe space provided for internet purchase exchanges
Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 1:47pm
Capt. Allan Rollins from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office recently announced a safe space program for people to use to exchange items from agreements made online.
Rollins said RCSO has designated the parking lots of the old Law Enforcement Center at 401 Walton Way, The Charles B. Webster at the 1941 Phinizy Road and the Marshal’s Office space at the Municipal Building located at 535 Telfair Street, all in Augusta.
Although these spaces are not directly supervised, they will be under 24-hour surveillance by the sheriff’s and the marshal’s offices and are at locations where police are constantly present.
“Too often, our citizens are victimized when they meet to make the exchanges in poorly lit or unprotected parking lots,” Rollins said.
“It is important to remember that each citizen is responsible for the transactions they conduct and they should make every effort to ensure they conduct their business in a safe and productive manner. We anticipate these spaces will provide a safe environment for these transactions and a deterrent to anyone trying to conduct fraud,” he said.
“The program came from a staff meeting where we realized that people needed a safe space. We had a couple of reports of rip offs, but saw a trend in national stories and wanted to get ahead.
“We realized that people do these exchanges on a daily basis and were sure there were issues of where to meet that was safe, convenient, well lit and secure. What better place than government offices and jails?” the captain said.
Rollins said the cost was minimal for signs and paint. The cameras were already in existence.
Two of the cameras had to be retasked; and, another old camera was installed at the CBWDC and tied into the existing security systems.
“We just want to make sure our citizens are safe. Someone asked me if these were just for Richmond County residents; and, the answer is a resounding ‘no.’ This is a safe space where anyone can meet for an exchange. In some cases, they may be the halfway point between the parties,” Rollins said.