December 12, 2015
Email sent to the City Council and the Board of Supervisors
Subject line: Needles Solutions Team – Needles in Public Spaces Report: 9,453 needles found in 36 months
To: Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors and the Santa Cruz City Council
Please find the Take Back Santa Cruz Needles Solutions Team Needles in Public Spaces (NIPS) report attached. This is a log of citizen reports of needles found in public spaces for the last 36 months. The log was created as a reference so that someone can use the data to:
Keep the County and City aware that there is an ongoing problem;
Determine if the needles found in public spaces are increasing or decreasing;
Provide data to the City and County so that “hot spot” patterns can be identified for City/County cleanup; and to
Give the community a place to log their finds.
Total NIPS Finds For Last 3 Reporting Periods
For reporting period 34 (9/9/2015-10/8/15), 231 needles found in public spaces were logged. This count includes citizen reports, community group reports and reports by City workers. 79 needles were found by citizens and community groups; the other 152 needles were found by City workers.
For reporting period 35 (10/9/2015-11/8/15), 297 needles found in public spaces were logged. This count includes citizen reports, community group reports and reports by City workers. 88 needles were found by citizens and community groups; the other 209 needles were found by City workers.
For reporting period 36 (11/9/2015-12/8/15), 217 needles found in public spaces were logged.
This count includes citizen reports, community group reports and reports by City workers. 30 needles were found by citizens and community groups; the other 187 needles were found by City workers. Significant Finds For Reporting Periods 34, 35, 36
Overall, the number of reports of children finding needles in the last 3 months is alarming.
Students performing a clean-up around a public school found a needle, along with water capsules and a cooker (such as those given out by the SSP). (960N)
A mother and her six-year-old found a needle on the School Street stairs. (965N)
A needle was found at Delaveaga Park during a birthday party. (972N)
A mother using a restroom at Safeway on Morrissey found a needle on the changing table. Fortunately she spotted the needle before laying her baby down for a diaper change. (980N)
A 7-year-old found 3 needles in his own front yard. (983N)
Another 7-year-old found a needle in her driveway. (1029N)
A woman walking wither her six-month-old grandson found approximately 12 needles amongst garbage and a brochure for NA near Ocean View Park. (989N)
A mother was taking a walk with her son to collect leaves and sticks for Halloween decorations when he came across a used needle. (1011N)
An eight-year-old found a dirty needle at Jade Street Park. (1025N)
5 needles were found on the property above Kirby School. (995N)
A needle was found outside of the WIC (Women Infants Children) center. (1026N)
A woman with her children at her home near the SSP looked out her window to find 3 needles, a crack pipe, and a man slumped over the wheel of his car. (1036N)
A man found a needle, bag of dope, cooker and a box of .45 caliber ammunition at a park. (1013N)
City workers found 9 needles at City Hall in September. (951N)
During a cleanup by community members, 7 needles found on county property in the wooded area next to the Emeline Complex (host to Syringe Services Program). 5 water vials, like the ones given out by the SSP were also found. (1006N)
City workers removed approximately 3 needles clogging a toilet in the 24/7 bathroom located on Soquel. (992N) Hot Spot NIPS Locations for Reporting Periods 34, 35, 36:
Outrage Over Signage at SSP
We heard from several Emeline neighbors who were understandably upset over a sign up on the SSP entrance which read: “How You Can Help: Help us ensure the future of the needle exchange by not using on the Emeline campus. Thank you! -Syringe Services Program.” These neighbors, who started regularly finding needles after the SSP moved into their neighborhood in April 2013, took this message to mean that County Health condoned drug users leaving campus to go into the neighborhood to shoot up.
Overview of Last 3 Years
Total Number of Needles Reported Found: 9,453
Average Number of Needles Found Per Month: 262