Massena Drug Free Coalition seeks volunteers to sweep for used needles in parks on Saturday
Monday, May 5, 2014 - 5:35 pm

MASSENA -- The Massena Drug Free Coalition is seeking volunteers to join them in sweeping parks around the village for discarded hypodermic syringes.

"Since January 2013, the police department has received 61 complaints of discarded hypodermic needles that were found by citizens," reads a news release from police Chief Timmy Currier.

Improperly discarded syringes can present the risk of transmitting blood-borne diseases such as HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

The group will meet at 10 a.m. at the Chamber of Commerce office on Church Street. They will receive safety training and be organized into groups before being deployed.

The volunteers will search for needles and trained personnel will do the actual collection.

As a tandem effort, the Massena Central School District Safety Team will be giving students a presentation on the dangers of discarded syringes and what to do if they see one.

"The Massena Drug Free Coalition is working on a public relations campaign aimed at increasing awareness of this problem and educating the public on the dangers of hypodermic needles and what to do if they see one," Currier's release says.

Currier said anyone who sees a syringe should report it to village police at 769-3577. Those finding syringes shouldn't touch them. Police are trained in their proper handling and disposal.