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Black Mountain residents purchasing or selling items online can now complete those transactions in a safe location.

A pair of parking spaces in front of the Black Mountain Police Department were recently designated as SafeTrade Stations.

Last fall alderman Larry Harris asked town staff about signage for a similar program in Woodfin, town clerk Angela Reece said. “Around that time, Sgt. Chris Staton also had the idea to have a designated area for transactions,” she said.

Town manager Matt Settlemyer directed Reece to gather information about implementing that type of program in Black Mountain. Reece found the website for SafeTrade (safetradestations.com), which also offers tips about being safe when meeting people to complete online transactions.

“It encourages transactions be made in public, preferably at a police station,” Reece said. “With police approval, I filled out the forms designating two spaces there.”

SafeTrade approved the designation and allowed the town to use its logo on the signs, which were put up in early April.

“I designed a sign with the logo that SafeTrade sent and had two of them made and placed at the police department,” Reece said.

Public works painted the lines along the spaces red to make them more visible.

“It’s really a combination of elected officials and town staff working together to make things safer for our citizens,” Reece said.

The town is encouraging local residents to use the spaces when they meet someone they are unfamiliar with to swap items. The area is on surveillance video and is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Reece said.

“Anyone having a problem can simply step into the police department for assistance,” she said.

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