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Gaston police officers make a difference in alternate ways in their community

Gaston, SC (Paul Kirby) – Last month, officers with Gaston Police Department took care of their community in a way other than writing tickets to unsafe drivers or making arrests to take dangerous people, weapons, and drugs off the town’s streets. The department partnered with South Carolina’s PalmettoPride to clean a road in the town of discarded litter and debris.

Chief Mohundro, Major Watkins, Captain Poole, and others all pitched in to help with the cleanup. They selected the dirt portion of Oakey Springs Drive, a short, rural road, as their target for the project. The three worked tirelessly and in just a quarter of a mile, they had collected over 3,000 pounds of trash! It filled the department’s pickup truck and a utility trailer several times over. It was particularly disturbing to see the number of worn tires that people had discarded along the roadside.

Although the men who worked on this project should be commended for this, it begs the question why; why did they have to do this? Who thought that saving a few dollars in tire disposal fees or the need to take a trip to the landfill or local county convenience station was worth breaking the law? It was heartwarming to see the photos of the team’s labor as they made a difference in their community, but also heartbreaking to think they had to do this.

Littering is against the law. You can receive tickets that easily exceed $1,000. Illegally dumping sometimes even brings felony charges for the perpetrator. It also shows a complete disrespect for your community and the people who travel the roads of Gaston and Lexington County. It’s just not fair for the law-abiding people who clean the trash out of their vehicle every time they fill up at a store. All of those usually have a trash can right there for that purpose. It’s certainly not fair for those who pay the small disposal fees when they buy tires or recycle electronics as state laws require. Who ever thought throwing these on the side of a road was okay? Just stop, please. If you think that some nice police officers or a work crew from the jail will haul off your items at some point, you may be right. You may also be on that work crew if this behavior continues!

The men of the Gaston Police Department take pride in their small part of our county. They are working hard to help keep Lexington County and South Carolina clean. You should too!

Next Monday, January 20th, 2020, you’ll have a chance to help. Students and citizens will be joining together to clean SC Hwy 6 from Peachtree Rock to US Highway 321 south in Swansea. Check-in begins 8:30 a.m. at 811 Peachtree Rock Road, Lexington, SC and cleanup begins 9:00 a.m. Lunch will be provided following the project’s end at 11:00 a.m. For more information, email info@palmettopride.org.

As for the men of the Gaston Police Department, thanks. For the people who carelessly discarded the trash, just stop it please!

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