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Chicago Garbage Collectors Deputized to Search People's Garbage for Suspicious...Garbage.

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Garbage collectors employed by Waste Management in the Chicago area are being trained to "look for suspicious activity while on their routes, such as drugs in the garbage, marijuana plants rising from someone's yard, people peering into windows and abandoned vehicles lingering on streets for days," under a dubious decision made by Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.

"We're adding people with eyes and ears (already) out on the street on a regular basis to help suppress crime," Dart said during a news conference yesterday. "Who are you going to come across to see more of the comings and goings of the neighborhood than the people who work in waste hauling, up and down alleys, up and down blocks on a regular basis?"

Training involves watching a 15-minute video, mandatory for all garbage men whose checks are signed by Waste Management.

Most people assume their trash is protected by privacy laws in accordance with the Fourth Amendment, but a 1988 ruling by the Supreme Court, specifically California v. Greenwood, stated that  no such protection is provided by the constitution. When you put your garbage out for collection, you are relinquishing your ownership of said trash.

Well, it's worked well in North Korea, where "a local party official appoints a resident (usually an older retired woman) to watch over her neighbors and report any suspicious behavior (missing work, entertaining strangers, going out at unusual times, etc.)."

Fidel Castro's Cuba has a system of "block watchers" who report on their neighbors' coming-and-goings, too.

Cuba, North Korea...why not Chicago?
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