Hattiesburg, Mississippi – Brought to the table by Ward 5 Councilman Nicholas Brown, the “Safe Places for Online Transaction” (S.P.O.T.) initiative gives Hattiesburg residents three locations across the city where they can safely exchange items purchased through online marketplaces like Craigslist, Facebook and eBay – among others.
“It’s our job to help make the city a safer place to live,” said Brown. “This idea was brought to me by a constituent and validated a need for similar programs I saw were already in other cities across the country. I’m thankful to the city administration for diligently making it a reality.”
With the cut of a ribbon on Wednesday morning, the City revealed one of three city facilities that will house S.P.O.T. locations. They include:
- Fire Station #1 at 810 North Main Street
- Fire Station #8 at 104 Lamar Boulevard
- Hattiesburg Police Department at 300 Klondyke Street
“Public exchange zones are popping up all over the country, and I’m proud for the research of best practices and the work that was done to make it a reality in Hattiesburg,” said Mayor Toby Barker. “As technology evolves, so must our capacity to provide public safety with it. These locations will provide our residents with an extra layer of security when exchanging goods purchased online.”
Each location includes two clearly marked parking spots for resident use and camera surveillance.
Transactions involving narcotics, dangerous or deadly weapons or other dangerous materials are not permitted at S.P.O.T. locations. And, while the city will not take part in transactions, they may be monitored through the use of video surveillance.
Total cost for the project at three locations was $4,500, which included the surveillance systems. Paint and signage were completed in house. For an interactive map and more about the locations, residents can visit hattiesburgms.com/spot.