Suffolk County creates safe place for internet buyers, sellers to meet in person

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Kristin Thorne has the story of a new zone where Internet buyers and sellers can meet in person.

Suffolk County has created a safe place for buyers and sellers doing business over the internet to meet in person.

They called Safe Transaction Zones, and so far, two of them have been created outside the sheriff's offices in Riverhead and Yaphank. And more are in the way, with officials citing the potential risks of meeting a stranger.

"Someone could be there with bad intentions," Suffolk County Sheriff's Office Chief Michael Sharkey said. "What's better than being a few yards from a police officer?"

The zones are in a direct line of sight of an on-duty deputy and right near multiple surveillance cameras.

"If someone is not going to come to a sheriff's office location to make a deal, you probably didn't want to do business with them anyway," Sharkey said.

The transaction zones are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and you don't need an appointment. But Sharkey still recommends you come during daylight hours. Additionally, the deputy on duty will not help you with your transaction, and he or she will not serve as an official witness.

"If we see that the traffic and volume is good and the public is receptive to it, we would expand it to other locations in the county," Sharkey said. "Where we would implement technology, you know, video cameras and remote observation."

It is all part of an effort to make your online shopping experience a little bit safer.
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