SLIDELL, LA (WVUE) - Slidell police have received a number of complaints about aggressive begging and littering from transients over the past few months, so they responded with Operation Clean Sweep.
"You would be amazed at how much money is given to the transients on a daily basis. One individual, who was recently arrest for aggressive begging, had make over $500 in one day," exclaimed Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith. "He had a cell phone, was living in a hotel, and was buying alcohol with the money."
Residents complained of people knocking on car windows at red lights, spraying water on windshields in an attempt to stop vehicles, sleeping on the road and public intoxication.
Late Friday morning (Oct. 31), Smith and other officers began cleaning up parts of Slidell, particularly the Interstate 10 overpass at Gause Boulevard.
"This area was disgusting," Smith said. "We are working to keep Slidell beautiful, and this area was such an eyesore to our city. Something needed to be done."
Smith sent officers to the area and arrest anyone who broke the law. Slidell City Jail trustees also helped pick up trash from the area. At least one full trailer was hauled away.
Police also arrested four people for either littering or disturbing the peace by public intoxication.
Smith suggested people donate money to local charities and churches in the area instead of giving money directly to individuals begging on the street.
"They will ensure the money is given to those who are truly in need of help. This will hopefully alleviate some of the complaints we have been dealing with regarding this issue," Smith said.