Waste Management partners with law enforcement in Waste Watch program

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MANATEE COUNTY - A partnership between law enforcement agencies and Waste Management hopes to bring more eyes and ears to the Suncoast.

Manatee County Sheriff's Deputies and various police departments have solicited Waste Management workers for their new "Waste Watch" program.

At a press conference Wednesday, Waste Management and law enforcement officials explained how truck drivers will be trained on how to spot suspicious activity when they're out on their routes, then report it to law enforcement.

The program has already proven to be successful in other areas.

The Manatee County Sheriff's Office, City of Holmes Beach, Longboat Key and the Palmetto Police Department will all participate.

City leaders say they think the new program is a great way to target criminals in our communities. “They're kind of like postman, they're there every day, they know their routes, they know their residents and they actually probably know better than law enforcement, because they're going to their homes every day, so this is going to be a good thing to have these sets of eyes to see the patterns of the residents, and report if there's anything abnormal. It's a great thing,” says Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore.

Some trucks will also be installed with dash cam's that have the capability to record, so if drivers do see suspicious activity, they have the ability to capture it in the moment.