Weekly Feature

2017-03-16 / Business

New ‘Lawn Enforcement’ landscaping business is therapy for cops


For the past year, Erie County Sheriff’s Deputy John Gugino has been cutting lawns on the side, through his new landscaping business, Southtowns Lawn Enforcement.

While there’s money in the work, he said the main benefit for him and the five officers he employs is the therapeutic release that mowing gives, helping them deal with the stigma on law enforcement caused by recent incidents of police brutality.

“Basically, I did it for a release, a therapy for myself and other law enforcement officers who struggle with what’s going on in the world today,” said Gugino, who was encouraged to create the business by a friend who works as a corrections officer and has been cutting lawns as therapy for 10 years.

SLE also helps officers show residents they’re normal human beings and provides “a break for the mind,” during which they can do something constructive, according to Gugino.

“You just go out and cut, just get some sunlight, get some fresh air,” he said. “When I’m done — and I’ve been told by other guys when they’re done — they feel like they actually accomplished something. They’resweating,andtheysay,’Now I can go home and relax and go to bed.’”

In addition to mowing, the business, run out of a garage at 5747 Maelou Drive in Hamburg, provides other services including mulching, edging, trimming, weeding and spring cleanups.

Gugino said that so far, SLE has been successful, reporting that the business took care of 54 lawns last year, which he said is approximately 40 more than is typical for a landscaping business in its first season.

Hoping to hire three more employees this season, he attributes the success to the inherent trust people have of law enforcement.

“There’s a lot of crime that goes along with people coming onto your property, and they’re letting us in with open arms, and they’re happy with our work,” he said. “I think if you asked everybody that we cut for, we did a great job and we picked up a lot of business, and I’m hoping to pick up a lot more.”

SLE’s season runs approximately from April to November, with hours of operation from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Gugino said, weather permitting, he will be open for business this season beginning the last week of March.

To learn more about Southtowns Lawn Enforcement, contact Gugino by phone at 523-9539, or by email at jgugino76@yahoo.com.

To inquire about job opportunities, use the number above.

email: arizzo@beenews.com

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