- In the face of police department budget cuts across the nation, Republic Services, Waste Management, and other trash collection companies are supporting law enforcement agencies to help fight crime and see that emergencies are responded to quickly and properly. Through training, trash haulers are learning to identify and give detailed reports of suspicious activity they see along their routes.
- Waste Management, which has assisted various law enforcement for years, recently put 20 employees through training with Farmington, NM police. Last month, both Sacramento, CA and Fairfax, VA officers worked with Republic drivers, dispatch operators, and supervisors, honing their observational skills and prepping them to identify and report suspicious activity, accidents, and other emergencies.
- Additionally, cities like San Jose, CA may mount license plate readers on garbage and recycling trucks in an initiative called "Refuse to the Rescue," which would help understaffed police teams find stolen vehicles, or prevent robberies or child abductions.
Safety and being good neighbors to the communities they serve have long been priorities of waste management companies. Their collectors are out on the roads all day, covering a lot of ground and getting to know their routes well. Through their community presence, it has become common for haulers to help citizens in trouble along their routes.
It seems to fit as a natural progression that haulers become a resource to local police, especially as law agencies are forced to stretch their resources far due to budget constraints and can’t always be where the drivers may be.
"The local Republic drivers are in our communities every day. They see what might need police assistance," said Master Police Officer R. Wayne Twombly with the Fair Oaks District Station, as reported in Waste360. "We want them to report what they see. They are an asset to every community."