BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - State and local officials in Bossier Parish want to clean up the area ahead of the airshow coming to Barksdale Air Force Base in May, and they want residents to join in the effort.
Bossier Parish Sheriff Julian Whittington helped kick off Operation Clean Sweep Friday morning, flanked by Bossier Mayor Lo Walker, La. Sen. Barrow Peacock and others.
The push comes about a month before thousands of visitors are expected to be in town for the Defenders of Liberty Air Show at Barksdale Air Force Base.
"Bossier is a great place to live, and people are moving here faster than we can build schools and highways," said Sheriff Whittington said in a statement released Friday. "Cleanliness is a part of it, and by keeping it nice, you get a good first impression when you go through a place. When I travel, I make a judgment on whether I want to get off the interstate and stop there to eat or spend the night by the way it looks. If it's trashy and dirty, I go onto the next city or town. You only have one chance to make a first impression, and we want to make a good impression in Bossier."
Mayor Walker talked about the connection of crime and city cleanliness. "I think there is a direct correlation between the way a city looks and the crime level," said Mayor Walker. "Clean cities have less crime. For people visiting our area, if they see litter, they just keep driving."
According to the Bossier City Sheriff's Office, Bossier Parish work crews pick up some 48,000 bags of trash over 2,000 miles of roadways each year to complement the parish and state beautification and cleanup efforts.
They encourage everyone to take part in the "Great American Cleanup" next Saturday.
Sheriff Whittington and community leaders also encouraged area residents to get involved and help clean up their own neighborhoods by joining the "Great American Cleanup" on Saturday, April 18.
They say residents are welcome to come to the Viking Drive Substation at 2510 Viking Drive in Bossier City at 8 a.m. on April 18 to join others in cleaning up the streets of Bossier with the 2nd Annual "Operation Clean Sweep."
You can also pick up large trash bags at any of the Sheriff's Office substations. You can then drop off your filled bags and litter in a dumpster provided by Progressive Waste Solutions that will be located at the Viking Drive Substation April 18 and 19.
Large appliances, furniture or hazardous materials will not be accepted.