Del Rio Police Department bike patrol officers and the 2019 police academy cadets cleaned up the San Felipe Creek area and Lions Park for the community on Friday afternoon.
Del Rio bike patrol officers Emmanuel Navarro, Elijah Sandoval and Christian Lopez along with six Del Rio police academy cadets and one Eagle Pass police academy cadet cleaned up the area as part of their physical training.
“On occasion, the cadets are allowed to choose a community in place for their physical training when they have completed other areas of training already during the week,” Del Rio Police Department Police Chief Fred Knoll said.
Every week the police academy does physical training. According to Knoll, with the heavy traffic recently at the creek, a clean-up along the stream was a great idea.
Knoll said areas along the creek that are overgrown with brush, trees and cane are some of the most common dumping grounds. “Areas east of town, between Bedell Avenue and the Jap Lowe Estates, have been recent victims of illegal dumping,” Knoll said.
Other areas include older parts of South Del Rio, San Felipe near the cemeteries, Round Mountain and Eagle Pass Hill, according to Knoll.
There are city ordinances in place and a person can be cited or even arrested for littering in a park, using glass containers, using motorized vehicles in the park or even loitering after hours. “Some of these fines can reach penalty levels of up to $500,” Knoll said.
According to Knoll, the police department has been working with the city’s Community Service Director and Parks Department Superintendent to add more litter receptacles along heavily used areas of the creek, along with signs to remind citizens to dispose of their trash properly.
“Citizens, who use the creek area and witness trash being left behind, can help us by picking it up and disposing of it in a nearby receptacle. Any help from our citizens would be greatly appreciated by the officers who police the area, as well as grounds-keepers who have to pick up the litter at the end of day and or early in the morning,” Knoll said.
A police officer’s duty as a public servant is to pull over to remove debris from the roadways, items that blow into the roadway and remove unsightly trash that makes its way onto other people’s property.
“On occasion, when there is an outbreak of unsightly trash or areas that have been inundated with illegal dumping, DRPD has taken the initiatives to work with other city departments, such as Community Health Services, Parks Department, and the landfill to address the immediate concern,” Knoll said.
The police department hopes this recent project can inspire other businesses, citizens and park-goers to keep our community clean and lend a hand from time to time.
“As police chief, I would prefer to keep our officers on patrol and on their bikes looking out for the safety of everyone, but if duty calls and trash is the problem, we will do everything we can to ensure that our city is clean and free of obstructions that could harm our environment,” Knoll said.