Tyler Mutchnick remembers reading about a young man who wanted to buy a Playstation for his younger brother from someone he met online, and who agreed to meet the buyer to complete the transaction.
Instead, the 20-year-old man was shot and killed by the man who pretended that he wanted to sell the Playstation. The victim’s body was found on the banks of the Assunpink Creek in Trenton in March of 2018.
The murder made an impression on Tyler, and that’s why he is proposing an Internet safe exchange zone in front of the East Windsor Township Police Department for his Eagle Scout project.
Tyler, who belongs to Boy Scouts of America Troop 59, outlined his proposed Eagle Scout project before Mayor Janice S. Mironov and the East Windsor Township Council at its July 9 meeting. The Eagle Scout rank is the Boy Scouts of America’s highest rank.
The Internet safe exchange zone would provide a safe and secure place where buyers and sellers of goods from online websites could meet to carry out the transaction, said Tyler, who is junior at Hightstown High School.
“It’s dangerous to meet people you don’t know, but if you go to a place where there are video cameras, it would be a lot safer,” he said. The Police Department/Municipal Court building has video surveillance cameras.
“I believe this will save so many lives,” Tyler said. “No one will try to commit a crime in front of the police station. It is a deterrent to crime.”
Tyler’s proposal calls for striping off two parking spaces in the parking lot at the Police Department/Municipal Court building at 80 One Mile Road. He has proposed using green paint to set off the parking spaces.
There would be a sign that indicates this is a safe exchange zone and that all activity is being videotaped on a surveillance camera. He would provide a table on a landscaped area next to the parking spaces, along with three cherry trees to make it aesthetically pleasing.
East Windsor Township Council members praised Tyler for his project.
“It’s a great project. You will be doing a real service to the town in what you are proposing,” Councilman John Zoller said.
“It’s a wonderful idea. You are going to make some senior citizens very happy,” Councilman Alan Rosenberg said. The need for a safe place to conduct Internet transactions was mentioned at a township Commission on Aging meeting.
Mayor Mironov said that “for a young person, this is an interesting idea to focus on. It will benefit the community. It speaks well of your organization and that you could generate the idea on your own.”
“You have our green light for it,” Mayor Mironov said.
Tyler said he plans to complete the Internet safe exchange zone project by November.