On Day 5 of stay in Culkin Dumpster, ex-cop says he’s having good ol’ time|[08/02/08]

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 2, 2008

It’s been hot, it’s been muggy and the Dumpster he’s been in since Tuesday smells far from pleasant, but Doug Arp said he’s having the time of his life.

“I couldn’t possibly be any happier,” said Arp. “This has been like a vacation to me.” Arp has been camping out in the Dumpster at the Culkin Volunteer Fire Department on Freetown Road to raise awareness of crime prevention.

Arp will remain in his 6-by-6 steel box until Tuesday when he will emerge for Vicksburg’s 25th annual National Night Out, a time when neighbors are encouraged to meet each other through block parties and grill outs.

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“People ask me why I am doing this, and I just tell them it is so I can meet them,” Arp said. “It is so I can recognize them later on and I will be able to help them if they need me.”

To contact Doug ArpDoug Arp welcomes visitors and will be in the Dumpster at the Culkin Volunteer Fire Department, 45 Freetown Road, through Tuesday. He also welcomes phone calls. His number is 601-831-4969.Arp, a former cop, is no stranger to zany stunts. In years past, he has spent a week on a billboard, in a fountain at Pemberton Square mall and in a police car suspended 60 feet in the air by a crane. When he retired from the Vicksburg Police Department in 2002, he also retired from his infamous weeklong adventures, which sometimes got him national media attention. But he said it wasn’t long before he missed it.

“Everyone has been great.” Arp said. “It was 102 (degrees) the first day I was here and, this morning when it rained, water came up through the rusted-out bottom of the Dumpster. But everyone has been so helpful, and they’ve helped me stay cool and done everything I’ve asked. The way I get fed and looked after – I could stay here all year.”

A banner attached to the outside of the Dumpster is a testament to his popularity. It’s filled with dozens of signatures.

As for next year, Arp said he is already making plans.

“As long as they let me, I’ll be here.”