Doug Bedell — March 26, 2008, 9:32 am

Trash-Truck Security Spotters

Here’s a great example of a systems approach to security – “systems” in an organizational or community sense rather than an electronic one.

Riverside County, CA, and Waste Management, Inc. are training trash truck drivers to be, in effect, rolling security spotters. “You might drive around in 20,000-pound trucks, but you’re almost invisible,” a Waste Management trainer told drivers being trained in the company’s Waste Watch Program.

The program partners Waste Management with law enforcement to help spot and report emergency situations or suspicious activity. So far, the company has trained half of its 24,000 drivers nationwide.

“They drive these routes for at least 20 years, so they know it better than anybody,” a Waste Management official says, “They know if something is out of place and can call or inform the police department.”

A great example of trained eyes providing informed observation in a community’s interest – from behind the wheel of a trash truck. There are people resources that we often don’t recognize or use. Alertness training can make a difference in security – and systems – terms.

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