Former Chesterfield officer recognized for helping clean community

Man's 'Herculean' effort to clean up community

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - A former Chesterfield police officer is finding new ways to contribute to his community after retirement. He dedicated 25 years to the force, and now, he’s protecting the environment and doing a service that’s often overlooked.

If you ever shop at the Food Lion on Iron Bridge Place in Chesterfield, you might see Hercules Peoples doing some heavy lifting.

”I get the parking lot spic-and-span clean, there’s nothing left at all when I am finished,” says Peoples.

He’s not affiliated with the grocery store or any local business in the shopping center, but that doesn’t stop him from lending a helping hand.

”It makes me feel good to know I’m doing my small part to help,” he said.

For 31 years he’s lived in this area and he’s seen the neighborhood grow. But with new subdivisions and rental properties, comes increased foot traffic and garbage.

”I just believe that if the area looks trashy, then it will bring trashy behavior,” said Peoples.

That’s something he wouldn’t stand for as a Chesterfield police officer and it’s something he won’t stand for in retirement. He said he’s even heard people criticizing him for cleaning up the parking lot, but he says his shoulders are broad enough to take the criticism.

”I keep going on because there’s a scripture that says, ‘Be not weary in well-doing, for you will receive the blessing from God in due season, if you faint not.’ That’s what keeps me going,” said Peoples.

It also comes with praise from people like Roxanne Jefferson.

”For a citizen to be out here doing something like this, cleaning the parking lot for people, he should be recognized,” said Jefferson.

She started to see Hercules out cleaning more and more, so one day she approached him.

”I said ‘sir, why are you out here picking up trash?‘” said Jefferson.

Hercules replied saying he lived there and wanted to keep the shopping center clean. That was enough for her to reach out to several people to give him the recognition he deserves.

“I even tried to contact the people that own this parking lot and the people across the street and nobody has contacted me back yet, so I said I’m going to contact Channel 12,” said Jefferson.

NBC12 answered the call, giving him $300 in cash and a $50 gift card to Mexico Restaurant.

“What she did is coming from her heart and what I’m receiving is going into my heart. This $300 will bring 300 tears out of me,” said Peoples.

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