Local law enforcement and emergency officials now have some additional help in protecting the neighborhoods of Walton County, following the launch of Waste Management’s community safety program Waste Watch. 

Through this program, Waste Management drivers will act as an extra set of eyes and ears for local police, fire department 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 Sheriff Michael Adkinson, Walton County Sheriff’s Office.  “This type of neighborhood watch initiative will enhance the safety of Walton County communities and provide law enforcement officers with an extra set of eyes on the street to protect our neighborhoods and our 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 led to the arrest of suspected vandals.

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 non-emergency situation.

Being members of the very communities they serve, 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.

“As residents of Walton County, our drivers are proud to work in and protect our community,” said Amy Boyson, Community Affairs Manager for Waste Management. “This program has been launched in many cities throughout the United States and Florida, and we are proud to bring it to this area.”

Waste Management and its 44 employees in Walton County provide services to single-family residences as well as commercial customers.