Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

March 26, 2014

Former trooper serving as new litter control officer

PRINCETON — A former state trooper is now applying his skill and experience to curbing littering and illegal dumping in Mercer County.

Gregory Reed, who served 17 years with the West Virginia State Police, started work Tuesday as Mercer County’s new litter control officer. Reed was chosen from 37 applicants for the job, said Mercer County Commission President Mike Vinciguerra. Funded through the county’s hotel/motel tax, the new litter control officer will help with beautification.

Littering and illegal dumps are a problem throughout the county. The county commission frequently gets complaints about garbage bags falling off trucks; under state law, garbage must be secured when it’s being transported, he said. Some parts of the county are constantly the sites of littering and illegal dumping.

“Littlesburg Road has to be cleaned up three times a year,” Vinciguerra said.

Reed, 47, who will work full-time with the Mercer County Solid Waste Authority, said he was born and raised in Mercer County. Most of his career with the state police was performed in neighboring communities.

“My last tour of duty was in Greenbrier County,” he recalled. “I also worked in Summers County and Raleigh County. Most of my experience as a trooper was in Summers County.”

Reed said he saw the opening for a litter control officer and decided he could make a difference in the county’s littering and dumping problem.

“It’s something I’m adamant about and I hope to make a difference in Mercer County,” he stated.

Reed will have the authority to write tickets and seek people who illegally dump their trash, but he hopes to work with the public.

“I’m going to try to talk to people mostly and get their cooperation,” Reed said. “Issuing citations would be a last-ditch effort. We’ll have cameras set up in problem areas, and I’ll be working with 911 and other law enforcement agencies. The (Mercer County) day report center will be involved in some work release programs and continue to pick up trash on the highways.”

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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