Hamilton County criminals beware: There's a new crime-fighting unit in town.
Sheriff Jim Neil announced the formation of the environmental crime unit Monday.
The unit was created through a partnership between the sheriff's office and Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District.
Neil says the team will investigate environmental crimes throughout the county with a deputy who is specifically trained on those crimes.
The agreement between the sheriff's office and the district will last three years, Neil says.
Officials say the focus of this program is to combat tire dumping which they say creates a nuisance and a breeding ground of mosquitoes carrying diseases through water accumulation.
Officials also say illegally dumped tires puts a strain on community budgets.
Officials say the ECU will work closely with the prosecutor's office, public health, the health department, the department of public service, Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, and Ohio EPA.
Officials have also set up a website where people can submit tire dumping complaints.
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