BERWYN – Waste Management of Illinois Inc. and the city of Berwyn have partnered to expand a community safety program through the company’s Waste Watch Program, according to a company news release.
Waste Watch is a program in which collection drivers are trained to assist local police and emergency service agencies by reporting suspicious activities and potential emergency situations to law enforcement authorities, the release stated.
“This program is like a neighborhood watch program, as our drivers are in these communities every day,” Waste Management Public Sector Manager Vaughn Kuerschner said in the release. “Waste Management drivers may stop at as many as 16,000 homes a week in the City of Berwyn.”
Waste Management’s operations teams and security groups participated in training sessions with Berwyn police officials Feb. 21 on spotting potential problems, according to the release.
As part of the program, drivers – equipped with radios and phones – are trained on the best ways to report and communicate any potential threats to the police, the release stated.
Waste Management developed Waste Watch in 2004, and the program has expanded to more than 270 communities nationwide, according to the release. The program has been recognized by the National Sheriff’s Association, the release stated.
“We sincerely appreciate the Berwyn police staff for taking personal interest in this program and for sharing their in-depth knowledge in law enforcement and public safety with our drivers,” Kuerschner said in the release. “Upon completing this training, Waste Management’s drivers are now able to assist authorities if they see any activities out of the ordinary on their routes.”