Maybe litterbugs need a high-voltage jolt of reality

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 3, 2005

After 34 years of life, I’ve finally discovered what I’d like to be when I grow up – a policeman.

No, it’s not because they can carry guns or the permanent press uniforms that attract me to the profession.

Before you start jumping to conclusions, let me explain.

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I never really wanted to be a police officer or firefighter when I was little, even then I knew these folks risked their lives daily and well, I guess I was a little chicken at the thought of it.

Lately, I’ve had this uncanny urge to arrest folks.

Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha’ gonna’ do, whatcha’ gonna’ do when they come for you …

Now, before you start humming the theme to the TV show "Cops" I have no desire to chase down drug dealers, murders and robbers. Again, those involve too much risk to my favorite person.

That said, I’d like to be deputized an advanced tactical litter control officer.

First how about a little background?

Last week, waiting for the traffic light to turn at the U.S. 52 off-ramp onto State Route 93, I saw the first crime of the week. Suddenly, with no warning, a white bag is seen tossed from the window of the car ahead of me.

Some of the local law enforcement officers carry the non-lethal, but very effective, Tasers. These little handgun-like devices deliver their electrifying message to would-be rabble-rousers.

If you aren’t familiar with Tasers, they deliver high voltage jolts the help incapacitate people who are giving officers fits, but for whom lethal force is not required.

Basically, the devices safely provide a jolt you’ll never forget and usually make you stop whatever it is you’re doing at the time of the Tasing.

Everyone knows large parts of our county are riddled with litter. And someone put it there.

My solution is simple: We should arm a small anti-litter force with Tasers and let them filter secretly back into society. From there they can work as "sleepers" until they become witness to a littering crime.

The woman in front of me who tossed her trash onto the roadside was just asking to be Tased.

And the guy in the convertible who tossed the empty water bottle into the air as he sped into Ironton, at least one little jolt, please.

Serious action needs to be taken and, quite frankly, our real law enforcement officers seem pretty busy dealing with bigger crimes and they’re undermanned anyway.

A citizens’ clean-up militia may be the only option left. Right now, the evil forces of the slobs are winning the litter battle.

Ma’am, pick up the gum wrapper or you will be Tased.

Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha’ gonna’ do, whatcha’ gonna’ do when they come for you …

OK, who is with me?

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Ironton Tribune. He can be reached at (740) 532-1445, ext. 12 or by e-mail to