Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 An increase in face-to-face Internet sales from such sites as eBay and Craigslist has brought with it a rise in fraud and other illegal activity. In fact, 2016 saw the 100th national murder related to Craigslist since 2007 according to a Florida-based consult- ing-and-publishing company. It’s a sobering reminder that online transactions mean dealing with strangers. Sgt. Mixon Eldridge, hoping to ensure that such local transactions result only in a good transaction for both buyer and seller, proposed the addition of a Safe Exchange Zone to the Miller Street public parking lot adjacent to the City of Greer Police Department and Fire Department. His proposal was heard by city officials, who contracted with Universal Protection Security Systems and Talkaphone to install the necessary equipment in September. “There was a period of time earlier in 2016 where we had an increase of crime associated with Internet purchases,” Eldridge said. “My thought process was that we have a well-lit public parking lot next to the Police Department and if we used this location it would prevent these incidents. “A few days later I rode by Greer Memorial Hospital and saw the call boxes. The idea took off from there. I searched online for ideas and found several departments that had safe parking areas, but no one had incorporated a call box with a safe parking area.” The Safe Exchange Zone is easily identifiable by the blue tower with a built-in surveillance camera. Pushing a button on the emergency panel activates a blue light atop the tower sends a call directly to Police Dispatch. “My vision is to reduce and prevent crimes associated with meeting strangers in public related to Internet purchases. The public can conduct these meetings in a safe location knowing they can have instant access to Police Dispatch at the push of a button,” Eldridge said. The Safe Exchange Zone may also be used by parents who exchange children pursuant to a Family Court custody agreement. Keep the following safety tips to keep in mind when conducting Internet transactions: • Do not go to a transaction alone. • Make sure a friend or family member is aware of the transaction details. • Insist on meeting in a public area or Safe Zone. • Do not go into someone else’s house, and do not allow them into yours. • Complete transactions during daylight hours. • Trust your instincts, if it sounds like a scam it probably is. Safe Exchange Zone delivers a secure spot for online purchases