County looking for community assistance to catch litterbugs

Published 7:00 am Thursday, July 2, 2015

Several years ago, Pearl River County implemented a program that offers monetary rewards to residents who catch individuals littering in public. County officials said they plan to work together to enforce littering penalties countywide by using the public’s help.

County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said the program went into effect more than 10 years ago.

“I’ve only heard of one litter conviction because of the program since I’ve worked for the county,” Lumpkin said.

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The program entails the county giving a $250 reward to a resident who’s able to prove an individual littered on public property. In order to show proof, the complainant needs to provide video catching the individual in the act as well as get their car’s tag number in order for local law enforcement to identify them. If the individual is found guilty, the complainant receives the reward from the county, said Malcolm Perry, PRC district II supervisor.

“The trouble is if you see someone throw out trash and get their tag number, then you have to go to court and testify against them. Without having a video, it makes it tough,” Perry said.

Sheriff David Allison said he plans to work with the county to utilize the program to its fullest potential.

“Normally our deputies cite people they catch littering or we investigate community complaints we receive,” Allison said.

He encourages residents to call the department if they have the necessary information, which could lead to a litter conviction.

Currently, the county doesn’t employ a litter control officer. Perry said he plans to speak to the board in the near future about hiring someone to act as the litter and animal control officer to manage the litter problem.