Safe space for online transactions needed

Two & Out
By James Peters
September 16, 2016 - 3:27pm Updated: September 16, 2016 - 8:07pm

KAMLOOPS — Our family held a garage sale a few weeks ago, and it went great.

I mean, who doesn't enjoy inviting a bunch of random strangers to your home, having them rifle through your stuff, offer you a fraction of what they're worth, and then judge your life choices?

In all seriousness though, a garage sale is a terrific way to make a little money while downsizing and diverting usable items from the landfill.

Fear of randos is probably the only reason we don't see more garage sales in our community.

That, and fear of a little work.

The transformation of the retail economy brought on by technological advances has made selling your useful stuff far more viable than it ever was before.

Sites like Kijiji, Craigslist and eBay are going great guns with people buying other people's crap.

But the reluctance to actually meet up with some unknown buyer or seller to close the deal is the only thing holding this new economy back.

In cities like Smyrna, Tennessee, the city and its police department have provided a safe zone for completing online transactions.

It's essentially a parking lot next to a police station, but it's well lit, and equipped with surveillance cameras that operate 24 hours a day.

People can meet up in the space, and it's a neutral ground where security doesn't have to be a worry.

There are even plans to set up more safe spaces throughout the city.

When you know someone is going to be in a particular place with cash in hand, the fear of a criminal act is a rational one.

These transactions are going to become more and more common, so the progressive planners at the City of Kamloops would be best to begin thinking of the right locations for a safe transaction spot now.

It's a prime example of how planners and law enforcement authorities can work together to make life just a little bit better - and less fearful - for their city's residents.