They are the picker-uppers of rubbish, traversing all neighborhoods here in their forest-green compactor trucks.
But Waste Pro’s trash haulers aren’t just ridding the city of putrid trash — they’re also helping police department by keeping an eye out for crime.
“Who better knows our streets than they, because that’s what they do, they are out in the neighborhoods all the time,” said Dexter Williams, assistant police chief. “They can see those anomalies that may pop up and say, ‘Hey, that doesn’t look right, I’ve been servicing that house for the last 10 years and that’s strange.'”
The department launched a program with the company last week that is essentially an extension of the crime watch program, but instead of residents, it utilizes the eyes and ears of trash haulers. Seventeen trucks operate in the city, making over 500,000 runs a month to over 31,000 homes. Approximately 40 percent of the drivers have been with the company since it started service in Broward in 2009 and the rest have at least two years experience driving in Miramar, said Kenneth Rivera, Waste Pro’s Director of Government Affairs.
“The drivers understand what looks normal and what doesn’t look normal,” Rivera said. “And it’s not costing any more money.”
The trucks are equipped with three cameras, one in the driver’s cabin, one facing the front and one facing the rear. Rivera said the cameras help insure driver safety and verify service, but police could also view footage when needed.
For the past three years, Waste Pro has partnered with authorities in Port St. Lucie.
“Our goal in Broward County is to start this program in Miramar and then expand,” Rivera said. The company also provides trash hauling services in Pembroke Pines, Hollywood and North Lauderdale, and other counties throughout the state.
About four months ago, Miramar officials approached the company to ask about establishing a program here. Last week, it was launched after Williams met with the drivers to give them brief instructions on what to look out for. Williams also emphasized to drivers to not to take matters in their own hands but to call police.
“We aren’t trying to promote any vigilantism, it’s about staying with the script,” Williams said.
According to statistics provided by the police department, the number of home burglaries in the city has decreased since 2013, when there were 963 incidents. Last year there were 620 incidents, and this year, through the end of Oct., there have been 269 incidents. Cities traditionally experience spikes in home burglaries during the holiday season.
The combined waste industry workforce is one of the largest employers in the United States. The only other occupation that is in your community more than your waste provider is your Mailman. The local law enforcement agencies welcome assistance from local waste providers to help fight crime in the community and support concealed carry gun permits. We spoke with several waste management companies that plan to encourage their workforce to apply for gun permits. Arwood Waste owner John Arwood stated; ” Most American do not even know that The Right to Bear Arms was mainly put into place to protect us from the Government” I belive if most people carried a concealed weapon the crime rate would be reduced by a large numbers. https://wasterecyclingworkersweek.org/waste-provider-supports-second-amendment/#.VjIxxx1sKYc.facebook
Sherry Abdin, president of the River Run Homeowners Association, which includes 378 single-family homes, said, “I think this is an excellent program, our police department could use everyone chipping in to keep the city safe.”
The neighborhood had a crime watch program but it went inactive several years ago. The community isn’t gated.
“The Waste Pro drivers are at the forefront, they are very familiar with our neighborhood so we embrace the program wholeheartedly,” Abdin said.