Montgomery County, TN – The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, through nearly a year’s worth of extensive planning, changing habits and educating its employees, has obtained Clarksville-Montgomery County Green Certification.
“We started this project last October, and through the Environmental Task Force we created, we’ve met the requirements to gain certification,” said Sheriff John Fuson.During a ribbon cutting ceremony today, Fuson explained the process to Montgomery County Mayor Carolyn Bowers and City of Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan.
The process began with meetings of the Task Force, made up of several key employees from each division.
From there, the Task Force came up with several initiatives to not only reduce the environmental impact of the Sheriff’s Office, but to also save money.
For example, the Sheriff’s Office decided to purchase the more economical 2014 Ford Escape for use by civil process deputies who don’t have a need for higher horsepower vehicles. This not only decreased environmental impact, but increased gas mileage and saved money, as the vehicle is cheaper than the vehicles typically used in the MCSO fleet. The vehicle cost $2,800 less than other patrol vehicle, and costs half the price in gas.
“This was a better choice for us, all around,” Fuson said. “We’re saving taxpayer dollars and we’re reducing pollution, all at the same time.”
The MCSO also takes part in the military’s DLA Disposition Services program, which allows local law enforcement and emergency agencies to obtain and repurpose equipment no longer used by the military for the agencies’ operations.
A big part of maintaining green certification is making sure everyone inside the agency changes habits to be more environmentally conscious.
“We have to continue to change our habits to continue this trend – and these habit changes are something that everyone at home can do,” Fuson said.
This includes using less paper, by using digital copies of documents rather than printing them out. The MCSO is doing this by providing reports to citizens that request them via e-mail, free of charge.
“Tracking our vehicles will greatly improve our ability to manage our fleet and reduce our impact on the environment,” Fuson said.
Helping bring an agency the size of the MCSO to green status is an arduous and ongoing task, but Fuson said he’s committed to constantly improving.
After the ribbon was cut and a sticker was put on the door of the Public Safety Complex to show the agency’s certification, County Mayor, Carolyn Bowers congratulated everyone.
“I appreciate you being conscious of the environment,” Bowers said. “Keep it up, and I’m proud of you.”
Fuson thanked Bi-County for supporting Clarksville Montgomery County Green Certification program which encourages organizations to conserve resources when possible.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is maintaining their certification through the following:
- Increasing traffic stops for criminal violations to include the improper securing of trash loads, criminal littering and investigation of hazardous waste dumping.
- Significant reduction in the amount of paper and ink to print tests and manuals.
- Using more environmentally friendly and longer-lasting protective vests.
- Reusing vehicle parts from older or wrecked vehicles to fix and maintain current fleet.
- Retrieving unused medications from the public through the 19th Judicial District Drug Task Force and dispensing of them in an environmentally sound way.
- Educating employees on how to be more environmentally conscious at work and at home.