HAMMONTON - Divorce is never easy, but the Kiwanis Club of Hammonton is trying to make it a little easier with the dedication of a security monitored designated exchange area on Aug. 16.
Located on the corner of Central Avenue and Vine Street — directly across from the police station — the exchange area is meant to act as a secure place for custody exchanges in situations of divorce and separation.
The exchange area also can be used by people who may have bought or sold something online and need a secure place to make the exchange. The area is monitored 24/7 with security cameras that include night vision.
“One of our members — who is also a Hammonton police Officer — brought it to our [Kiwanis Club] attention after he heard of them being utilized by other police departments,” said Mary Young, Kiwanis Club vice president.
Once the Kiwanis Club heard about the idea, they knew it was an important and needed to be done.
After the club voted to move forward with the exchange area, they raised the necessary money through fundraisers. However, before anything could officially get under way, the Town Council had to approve an ordinance for its creation, which it did unanimously.
“I thought it was great. I think it will bring people a sense of ease that they are being recorded,” said Councilman Mickey Pullia. The security cameras can store video for weeks at a time. However, should an incident occur, Young encourages people to report it immediately.
The installation was donated by Kiwanis members George and Rhonda Hummel. George Hummel, who owns G. Hummel Electrical Contractor Inc., loves giving back to the community. “We are fortunate to give. It’s a way to keep everyone safe,” he said.
For the Kiwanis Club, safety is what it is all about.
“With the changes of traditional family units and the increase in Internet exchanges we felt it would be an additional means of security to provide to our community,” said Young.