Local Coral Gables law enforcement and emergency officials have some additional help in protecting the neighborhoods of Coral Gables through Waste Management’s community safety program, “Waste Watch.”
Through this program, Waste Management drivers act as an extra set of eyes and ears for Coral Gables police, fire and emergency services, and report any suspicious activity that they may witness during their routes.
“We are pleased to partner with Waste Management on this crime prevention program,” said Coral Gables Police Chief Ed Hudak Jr. “This neighborhood watch initiative enhances the safety of Coral Gables neighborhoods and provides law enforcement with an extra set of eyes on the street to protect our community and citizens.”
In Florida, tips from Waste Management employees trained through Waste Watch have alerted fire officials and saved a sleeping man from a burning industrial building, saved a family’s home from a fire, stopped a pit bull attack and returned a wandering toddler to his home in the early morning hours.
Through its Waste Watch program, Waste Management drivers have undergone proper training on what to look for and how to respond in the case of an emergency. Should anything occur while on their routes, drivers are instructed to pull over at the safest location and call emergency officials or their supervisor in a nonemergency situation.
“In times like these, we need every bit of help we can get,” Hudak added. “By having a mutual relationship with our waste drivers, our community is safer and Waste Management gains more merit by offering a reliable and secure community outreach program.”
Being in the community multiple times per week, Waste Management drivers are familiar with their routes and are good candidates to spot unusual activity, especially when they are trained on what to look for.
“Our drivers are proud to work in and protect the Coral Gables community,” said Dawn McCormick, director of Communications and Community Relations for Waste Management. “This program was launched in Miami-Dade County in 2011, including Coral Gables, but this effort is offering specific training to our Coral Gables drivers and highlighting some of the areas of concern that the Police Department would like our drivers to be aware of as they service the community.”