REDWOOD CITY, CA — In these modern, technology and Craigslist-heavy times, people find that it is much easier to shop online than at the mall.
The internet also allows people to buy from each other, rather than from a retailer.
But transactions like these, which require in-person exchanges of money and goods, can open the door to crime.
That’s why San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa says an internet-exchange safe zone can help fix that problem.
“This is a 21st century solution to a 21st century problem,” Canepa said.
Canepa established his first internet exchange zone in Daly City in 2016, while he was on the city council.
Canepa said that the Daly City safe zone was a response to the 2013 shooting death of 22-year-old college student Ikenna Uwakah, who was killed while selling a playstation.
Also that year, teenage Pinoy Rommel Navarez was shot by police after attempting to rob people of their cell phones, after posting fake online ads.
Much like the internet exchange zone in Daly City, this location will offer many features to ensure the public’s safety.
“There are three great things. One, this jail was built a year ago so we have new cameras. Two, we have the Redwood City police department across the street. And three, we have between 50 and 100 correctional officers who are in the building.”
Canepa adds that there has been little criticism of the exchange zones due to its low budget.
“This probably cost us, with the stenciling of the letters and the signs, maybe somewhere between $1000-$1500, if that. So it’s cost effective and and it’s a benefit to the taxpayers.”
Supervisor Canepa says that while he is encouraging the other cities in San Mateo County to set up their own internet exchange zones — he will also be writing a letter to all the counties in California to do the same.