ST. ALBANS, WV (WOWK) – A St. Albans teenager on the path to becoming an Eagle Scout is doing the most to make his hometown a safer place.
As part of sixteen year-old Ethan Cavender’s Eagle Scout project, he had the idea to create Safety Exchange Points at the St. Albans Police and Fire Departments.
These points are designed to make a safe place for exchanges and transactions, including child custody exchanges or even Facebook Marketplace meetups. Both zones are monitored 24/7 by security surveillance cameras.
Ethan says these zones can be beneficial to everybody in St. Albans.
“It gives St. Albans a safer place to have deals because there’s not many trustworthy people online,” Ethan said. “Sometimes marriages end really badly which causes a lot of tension and a lot of malice between divorced couples, so that could potentially end badly if they weren’t in a secure spot to exchange children.”
St. Albans Police Chief Marc Gilbert says this is a great addition to the new department building, which just opened in January.
“It gives a little comfort to anybody meeting for the first time or for families that have a little tension between them, it adds a layer of protection,” Chief Gilbert said.
Ethan’s father, Chad Cavender, says he has already used the exchange a few times for Facebook Marketplace purchase meetups.
“I will always use these because it makes me feel safe when I’m going to meet somebody that I don’t know,” Chad said.
Chad says Ethan is not his only son to be a scout. He has three brothers all of whom are already Eagle Scouts, and Ethan is hoping to join them in a matter of months.
For people who don’t live close to St. Albans, safeexchangepoint.com recommends meeting somewhere public with video surveillance or security guards on the property, like coffee shop, hotel lobbies, or even banks.