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buzz2012 160 80Waste Pro-Tection program serves as community watch program

ARCHER – Waste Pro-Tection, a program where Waste Pro drivers keep a look out on the community in Archer was adopted in the April 8 city commission meeting.

Waste Pro began a community watch program in partnership with Alachua County through the Business On the Look Out, said Dayna Miller, Waste Pro municipal marketing manager.

“We’re doing similar programs in a couple different areas in Florida down south on a smaller scale and when I found out about it I expanded on it,” she said.

The program, which trains drivers to report suspicious behavior during their shifts, began in the city of Alachua about a year and a half ago and was later presented to Hawthorne, Miller said.

There are a total of eight cities in Florida that have adopted the service. Archer is the third city the company presented the opportunity to in Alachua County.

Archer City Manager Al Grieshaber Jr., said he liked the idea of the program.

He said it was another way to keep the community safe.

Miller said the program has received positive feedback from the communities since it was implemented.

“It’s another set of eyes and ears on the road for law enforcement,” she said.

The community watch program does not cost cities or the company itself anything. And employees are not paid extra compensation, Miller said.

“There is no cost at all to the municipalities or taxpayers to provide this service because we are already out on the road and a lot of our drivers are running the same sections of town every time and so they get very familiar with the area,” she said.

The company picks up garbage, recycling and yard debris four days a week in Archer. There are a total of 25 Waste Pro employees in the county.

Once cities adopt the service in their community, the city’s police department or the law enforcement that works in the area train Waste Pro drivers.

During these workshops, which are taught once a year, Waste Pro employees review what they should look for, be aware of and the kind of activity that may look suspicious.

“Although, yes, we are an extra set of eyes and ears for the police or sheriff’s department, we are not asking our drivers to jump out and stop a crime from happening,” Miller said, “all we’re doing is asking them to report suspicious activities.”

She said the service is a community watch, not a crime watch.

“I definitely want people to know that we intend to take it to more cities,” she said. “I would love to take it to all of our cities and not just those in Florida.”

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