The Longboat Key Police Department is gaining some extra pairs of eyes.
A new partnership between the police department and Waste Management of Manatee County is being launched in the coming weeks. Through Waste Watch, a neighborhood watch program that helps protect community safety, Waste Management drivers will report any suspicious activity they witness during their routes to the Police Department.
On Dec. 6, 102 Waste Management drivers were trained on how the program will work. Waste Management of Manatee County serves close to 70,000 residents, Bill Gresham said. Through this program, Waste Management employees can help keep more residents safe by assisting the police. Waste Management will only report incidents they see, though. The Police Department will follow through with the reports.
Longboat Key Police Department Chief Pete Cumming said sometimes people commit crimes without knowing Waste Management can see them while driving around.
“It amplifies our impact in the community,” Cumming said.
To solidify the partnership, Waste Management treated the Longboat Key policemen to lunch on Tuesday. Waste Management employee Rose Quin-Bare and former employee, Roberta Ramirez, made meatballs for sandwiches. Chips and cookies were also served. Gresham said the lunch was an appreciation toward the police department for its protection and service to the community.