Phoenix police create 'safe zone' for online purchases

Oct 19, 2017

Last year an arranged meeting in the Oswego County village of Phoenix to purchase a pair of sneakers went horribly wrong. The village resident was conned by the people who agreed to sell him the shoes. They robbed and shot him.

The incident prompted Phoenix police to implement a proactive measure that they hope will keep their residents safe. It's called a safe exchange zone and Chief Marty Nerber says it only cost $64. All they did was add a sign to the back of the Phoenix police headquarters next to the station's surveillance camera. Nerber says now, people have a safe space where they can meet to buy, sell and trade material that they find online. 

"A lot of times they're uncomfortable meeting a person they don't know maybe at their house or wherever so we kind of gave them that space that they can come here it's under video surveillance 24 hours a day," Nerber said. "And we would hope that it's a safe space being at a police station."

While there is not always an officer at the station Nerber says the camera is always rolling.

He described the reaction online as very positive. Some village residents say they already plan on using it and others are asking for a similar safe exchange zone where they live.