Johnson County Sheriff’s Office setting up safe zones for online exchanges

JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. – The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office has designated a pair of parking spaces as e-commerce zones so people can safely meet up to make exchanges for online deals.

The two spots outside the sheriff’s office at 1091 Hospital Rd. in Franklin are to be used for people to make transactions arranged through apps or online services. Sheriff Doug Cox said the spaces are closest to the lobby and under constant video surveillance.

He hopes the safe exchange zones will prevent strong-armed robberies or violence related to such transactions.

Cox said there were no specific cases in Johnson County that prompted the change. Police departments in several other Indiana cities have adopted similar policies, including Indianapolis and Carmel.

Cox said the sheriff’s office would have someone to respond to any incidents related to an exchange. Jail staff would be available after hours. Anyone who experiences a problem during a transaction can call 911 or go to the lobby for assistance.

Cox said the idea is to make online exchanges safer for everyone in the community, giving those involved a public place to meet up.