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According to Sheriff Jeffrey J. Murphy, the Washington County Sheriff's Office will create a “safe transaction zone” designed to help protect citizens from various crimes associated with online transactions including robberies, thefts and assaults.
The “safe transaction zone” will be in a marked area of the parking lot at the Law Enforcement Center in Fort Edward. Cameras already cover the entire building and additional high definition cameras will be installed to focus specifically on a marked transaction area. The marked areas will have signs identifying the area and will be located near the handicapped parking spots in the front of the complex.
Citizens will be encouraged to use the marked area as a place to meet and conduct transactions that require in-person exchanges of online purchases.
Sheriff’s deputies will not participate in the exchanges or act as official witnesses in transactions. Most purchase agreements and transactions are civil matters however with high definition video cameras and sheriff deputies nearby if needed, the hope is that the area will be safer for buyers and sellers and will deter criminals who want commit crimes against others. In the event a crime is committed, evidence in the form of high definition video surveillance footage will give deputies solid leads when handling the case.
Citizens will be encouraged to use the area during daylight hours and will not have to schedule an appointment or check in with the Sheriff’s Office.
If somebody is not willing to come to the Sheriff’s Office to complete a transaction, it is probably not legitimate. The “safe transaction zone” should be ready for use by the end of March 2016.