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GIVE A HOOT DON’T POLLUTE- THE SOLUTION TO CRIME IS POLLUTION

My Brother John R (Ricky) Whitlow realized that pollution is a solution to crime years ago when was a patrolman for the Baton Rouge Louisiana Police Department. Pollution comes in many forms, including but not limited to air, water, ground, noise, light, trash, graffiti, and even people. Living with pollution sometimes makes people feel hopeless, trapped, depressed, alone, and forgotten. Ricky had a deal with the Chief of Police and the Mayor to take a bite out of crime. If Ricky’s patrol units caught a person in a drug crime, they did not bother to arrest you to wait for trial. They handed you an orange suit and you picked up the trash where you were caught. If Ricky’s patrol crew caught someone running a crack house, they handed you the orange suit, and parked a disabled police car in your driveway and left it there. Then you picked up the trash until your trial. This would make the criminal feel more at home in the more attractive neighborhood. This took a bite out of crime.

After Ricky retired from Baton Rouge P D, he worked for a while for the Caldwell Parish District Attorney and implemented the same trash pickup crime fighting. One case involved a mentally challenged young man who liked to walk from Hebert to Columbia almost on a daily basis. One fine day just out of the blue, he decided to borrow his grandmother’s car without permission. The grandmother accused her grandson of stealing the car and this is where Ricky got involved. Ricky sentenced the young man to walk from Hebert to Columbia and pick up all the trash along the way. Ricky instructed the young man to bring all of what he collected to him. Ricky said that he kept all of the pocket knives, guns, money, and anything else valuable. He took the rest to the dumpster. This took a bite out of crime.

I grew up hunting, fishing, camping, and hiking right here in Ouachita and Caldwell Parish near Monroe in Northeast Louisiana. When I was a young boy in the 1950s and 60s this land was wild and free. The forest was made up of loblolly pines, red oak, white oak, pin oak, cypress, elm, and hickory. The timber companies like International Paper or Olin Craft owned most of the timberland. You rarely saw a posted sign. You were free to hike, camp, fish, and hunt wherever your heart desired. You could have fun and support your family. You did not need a lot of money to hunt.

Gradually things changed. They began clear cutting the forest at an alarming rate, cutting out square miles at a time and replanting it in pine trees that go from seedling to harvest in 10 years. It is hard for me to adjust to the change even today when I am 62, but I am wise enough to realize that it is necessary. People need 2 X 4s, plywood, and paper. Plants and people need to work. Whenever one plant closes its doors, the entire community feels it. Plywood and paper are necessary, but I wish they would learn how to make it with hardwood timber and replant the hardwood timber. Because of the decreasing income and liability insurance demands, the timber companies have been forced to lease out their hunting lands. Now we have pollution from all the posted signs. You can live in the woods, but you don’t have the right to walk through them. This really is a shame.

Besides all the posted signs and pine trees, I am also depressed by all of the trash along the roads. I just don’t know why in the hell anyone feels like they can’t just leave their trash in the vehicles until they get where they are going. I keep a small trash barrel where I park my truck. When I get home I remove the trash from the truck and put it in the barrel. I get so I am depressed just by driving down the road by beer cans, McDonald’s wrappers, Styrofoam cups and just general trash. The convicts may come along and pick up the trash on Monday and by Wednesday it comes right back like magic. You always see signs along the roadside saying that littering will be punished. Then you see a ton of trash right by the sign. Everyone has cell phones these days. If you see someone littering call 911 and get a license plate number. They should develop a policy if you are caught littering, they hand you and orange suit and you have to pick up trash along both sides of the road where you were caught. I saw a sign today that said, “Adopt a Highway.” I have heard about adopting a child or adopting a dog. What does adopting a highway mean? Is this your road then? Can you name the road after you. I think it means that you pay for picking up someone else’s trash out of the roadway. It would be nice if we could adjust to new habits and Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute. You can change the world, one road at a time.

 

 

It ain't over until the fat cat sings

 

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