Columbia Police serves as safe online shopper zone

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department lobby will no longer be just a waiting area.

The department wants residents to use the lobby as a safe online exchange zone. This means the lobby would provide a common ground to pick up products bought and sold online.

"It began with the idea that there are a lot of stolen items that are sold on places like Craigslist or these online garage sales," Public Information Officer Bryana Maupin said. "The idea was how can we keep the community safe from purchasing stolen goods online, and then that transpired into how we can provide a safe environment so that nothing happens to citizens while they're making these transactions."

Maupin said the opening of the online exchange zone is not in reaction to any recent crimes in Columbia, specifically, with online purchases.

The only restriction is the buying and selling of weapons. 

The lobby is under video surveillance and open to the public at all times.