HAMILTON, Ohio - Thinking about dropping that cigarette butt or empty wrapper on the sidewalk? Think twice in the city of Hamilton.
In order to clean up city streets, the community is implementing a grant-funded program to put police officers undercover in the community to fine any would-be litter bug caught in the act.
The Comprehensive Litter Education and Enforcement Now (CLEEN) program is being rolled out with the goal of enhancing the quality of life, while spurring economic development.
"Cleaner areas equal less crime," Hamilton police officer Kristy Collins said.
Backed by 14 organizations and departments in Hamilton, half of the city's police officers began training a few months ago to start the CLEEN program, according to Collins. Part of those officers' duties will involve issuing $150 fines and citations to litterers during their off-duty hours.
Hamilton resident Butch Hubble said he's glad to see program hit the streets.
"It's almost a no-brainer when you look at some of our streets and look at the trash and litter that has accumulated over the years," Hubble said.
The program is similar to one started late last year in Sydney, Australia where that city's council began placing undercover police in high litter areas to issue citations for offenders who tossed cigarette butts on the ground, according to the Daily Telegraph .
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