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Environmental police to help
The Ellis County Press

WAXAHACHIE - Ellis County officials are serious about fighting environmental crimes, and they have a new law enforcement officer to help them.

The environmental police position, held by Carl Red-ford, was created with the help of grants obtained by the Texas Commissioner on Environmental Quality and the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

The purpose, according to county Director of Development Delton Ake, is to help fight the increasing number of illegal dumping cases county officials receive. 'He gives us assistance and a lot more legal authority. He responds to citizen's complaints,' Ake said.

The money received for the position pays for Redford's annual salary, his equipment and a new Chevrolet 4x4 truck.

Redford is based out of the Ellis County District Attorney's office in Waxahachie, and reports directly to County Attorney Joe Grubbs.

Ellis County resident Chris Kenney said he saw the environmental police truck and wondered whether the officer would be able to stop 'polluting' vehicles.

Ake said Redford would only be used to combat the major illegal dumping cases federal agents have worked to shut down.

'We have a problem that is widespread,' Ake had said during a recent Environmental Protection Agency crackdown. 'We are beginning to make a difference.'

EPA agents, with the help of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, successfully shut down an illegal dumpsite near Palmer March 12.

Late last year, federal agents linked illegal dumping cases in west Dallas to plants in Ennis, resulting in massive cleanups and subsequent lawsuits.

Because Redford is a licensed police officer, Ake said he would be able to actually ticket dumping violators.

'He is bound to make corrections [to enforce the law],' Ake said.

During the EPA and ATF crackdown, Ellis County Judge Chad Adams said he was committed to fighting illegal dumping, and urges residents to take a more proactive approach to cleaning up the county.

'I refuse to be the dumping ground for the Metroplex,' he said. 'We will be delivering more and more effort in the county to preserve our natural resources.'

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