DELBARTON — The Ragland Crime Watch appeared before the Mingo County Commission on Tuesday to discuss updates and needs for the crime watch program.
Sabrina and Richard Belcher praised the Ragland Crime Watch as they told their recent success stories.
“We have been breaking up drug deals and we are really focusing on getting dealers out of our church parking lots,” said Richard Belcher. “When we see someone parked for a long period of time we always make sure to keep an eye on them and approach them if necessary. We are seeing some improvements but right now our biggest focus is taking care of the littering in our area.”
Commissioner Diann Hannah spoke up about how she had heard others talking about the clean-up efforts in Ragland.
“Y’all clean up Ragland really good,” said Hanna. “I have heard so many people talk about how much better it looks over there lately.”
While Sabrina Belcher admitted that the Ragland area is looking better, she also made the commission aware that keeping it clean is an every day job. It was this that prompted Belcher to speak about the upcoming plans for tackling the little problem which include setting up a roadblock for litter awareness.
“We want to set up a road block and give everyone a small plastic bag that contains information on littering,” said Belcher. “The great thing is that the bag we give them can double as a garbage bag for their cars so all they have to do is keep it somewhere they can reach it rather than throw it out the window.”
Belcher shared some littering information with the commission that she said was both shocking and unbelievable.
“I have done a lot of research on the subject of littering and you wouldn’t believe how much percentage of the pie comes just from cigarette butts alone. There are more cigarette butts thrown out than anything else,” said Belcher. “We need a recycling center or a free dump but until that can happen, we have got to try something else.”
“When trailriders and other visitors come in from out of state, the first thing they see is our trash,” chimed in Richard Belcher. “They realize how beautiful our state is so we can’t we? I’d like to see people take pride in our communities and towns again.”
President Commissioner John Hubbard agreed that the littering was a real problem in the area stating that a safe community was a clean community.
Richard Belcher asked if the commission could contribute money to help the crime watch get litter cameras to set up on private property so that littering could be enforced in high littering areas.
“All it would take is to make an example out of a few,” said Sabrina Belcher. “If we would start holding people accountable then more and more people would think twice before tossing their trash out of the window.”
Commissioner Greg Smith praised the Ragland Crime Watch for being the only one of two crime watches in the county that had been able to get and maintain their 501(c)(3).
“Ragland Crime Watch has done an outstanding job in their area and I would like to help them in anyway we can,” said Smith.
The Commission agreed to table the request until the next meeting on November 1 so that funds could be looked over before making a contribution.
Madalin Sammons is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. Madalin can be reached at [email protected] or by phone at 304-664-8225.