Garbage truck drivers are on the road most of the time, and police take the opportunity to help them spot emergencies and unusual activity.
In a unique partnership, as part of the Waste Watch program, 30 drivers from Waste Management of Arizona (WM) were recently trained to act as an extra pair of eyes and ears for police, Sheriff’s assistants, firefighters and emergency services, report emergencies or suspicious activity that may occur along their routes.
WM works with local law enforcement in Payson, Show Low, Pinetop-Lakeside and Winslow.
Drivers who serve residential and commercial customers in Payson and surrounding communities were trained and certified on Wednesday, July 14, taking part in training before their shift began at 6 a.m.
Following formal training from WM, the Payson Police Department sergeant. Justin Deaton spoke with the group and answered questions. Drivers have been encouraged to familiarize themselves with what is normal along their routes and to report any suspicious activity, safety issues or crime they see while working on their routes.
“If you see something, say something,” said Sgt. Justin Deaton, noting that it could prevent or mitigate a crime.
“You drivers are there all the time and scattered all over the place. It doesn’t matter where you are – in Payson or Tonto Basin, Pine or Strawberry, East Verde Estates or Flowing Springs – if you see something out of the ordinary, stop by and give us a call. Tell us where you are and what you saw. If you see someone running behind a business at 3 or 4 in the morning when you’re throwing out commercial trash, that’s not normal. Call us.”
When asked how helpful it would be for local law enforcement and the community to have Waste Watch-trained MW drivers as additional vigilant observers, Deaton said it could have an impact. real value. In collection trucks, he noted, drivers can observe potential problems that would go unnoticed even to a careful neighbor.
Waste Watch is part of the company’s community awareness safety program.
“Our teams of local drivers work on regular routes to collect waste and recycling from residences and businesses, so they are a useful resource to identify suspicious activity and can serve as a preventative measure that can prevent a minor incident from occurring. turns into a dangerous situation, ”said Angel Carbajal, senior director of corporate safety for Waste Management.
“Safety is our top priority, and the communities in northern Arizona that we serve will benefit from our program to help keep the community safe. “
Familiar with the neighborhoods they navigate each week while working, WM drivers are good candidates for spotting something out of the ordinary, especially after being trained by local police experts. Once trained and certified, should anything happen on their routes, drivers will have the tools to act quickly by communicating vital information to 911 or their dispatcher in the event of a non-life-threatening emergency.