SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield City Councilor Lavar Click-Bruce, who is also chair of the public safety committee, is proposing to make safe pick-up zones for people making online transactions.

The ever-growing online marketplace is being exploited by criminals and schemers who look to steal from the person they have coordinated a transaction with. Just last month in Chicago, a teen was fatally shot during an online sale meetup. Click-Bruce is looking to be proactive to address this type of crime, by establishing safe zones for transactions.

“Again, the police department and maybe some of our local community centers as well, as these local safe havens for these purchases. I want to make sure our kids are safe,” said Click-Bruce.

Click-Bruce is also proposing an educational component, in addition to the safe zones, to educate the city’s youth on how to protect themselves during these transactions. The meeting on these proposals is scheduled for next Wednesday, February 15th at 1 p.m. and the community is welcome to attend.

The Springfield Police Department is also reminding residents that they encourage them to make exchanges at their headquarters at 130 Pearl Street. The facility is under surveillance and open to the public 24 hours a day. The department has been a designated Community Meetup Spot since 2018.

“Internet purchase exchange locations reduce the likelihood of theft or crime and provide an additional sense of safety. If the exchange is a scam or for nefarious reasons it would be quite brazen for the other person involved to show up at the police department. If the other person doesn’t show up or asks to meet somewhere else, that is a red flag. We believe Springfield Police Headquarters is a much safer option when conducting business with strangers,” Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood said.