Get the Mess-age!

It's a problem in almost every community. From chip wrappers to soda pop bottles, litter clutters many streets and neighborhoods in our area, but police in Valdosta are now warning folks to think twice before using the streets as a their garbage can. The litter enforcement team will be watching!

CAPT Brian Childress with the Valdosta Police Department says, "They're going to be walking through neighborhoods in our city, enforcing the litter ordinance."

It’s an ordinance many residents simply aren't taking seriously.

Community activists say litter may not seem like a big deal to some folks in the community, but they point out it can, in fact, promote crime in the areas in which you live.

James Wright, City Councilman for District 1, says, "Empirical evidence and other studies have shown that when you have an area that's heavily littered and houses are in decay, then people take that as an area they can go in and sell drugs and you have other gang activity."

It is why the Valdosta Police Department is teaming up with community members who live in these neighborhoods.

Childress adds, "We want to use people that know their neighbors."

They are people who will carry out the hefty task of cracking down on litter bugs in their own backyards.

In addition to fines anywhere between $500 and $1,000, litter enforcement officials can begin issuing court summons to violators beginning June 10.