Health & Environment

Neighborhood Advisory: Needles in Public Spaces

A letter to the North End / Waterfront community:

Since the start of school, The Eliot has been dealing with drug use and drug dealing around all of its buildings. We have had to call the police multiple times and arrests have been made. Use happens overnight but also brazenly during school hours. The City and State police, our elected representatives, and the Superintendents office have all been very responsive to our calls. Areas have been cleaned up and increased monitoring is happening.

Even with all of this support, a young member of our community was struck by a needle while playing after school yesterday in the Prado. The needle was located in one of the flower planters. This family now has to live with the full weight of this health and safety issue for the next few months until this child can be retested for serious illnesses that could have been transmitted. 

We are asking for help from the incredibly supportive North End community around us. The drug use in the North End public spaces is getting worse. Please report all drug use by calling 911. Very importantly, please also follow up after you witness drug use to see if any needles were left in the area and report them so they can be removed.

Letter submitted by Jennifer McGivern.

Boston Police District A-1 provide North End / Waterfront residents an update on neighborhood crime incidents each month at the Public Safety Meeting. Meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month, 6 p.m. at the Nazzaro Center, 30 N. Bennet Street. All are welcome to attend and bring their questions. The next meeting will be Thursday, October 3, 2019.

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12 Replies to “Neighborhood Advisory: Needles in Public Spaces

  1. Horrible…I’m hoping the local news outlets and newspapers pick up this story. Maybe it will get the D.A to change her thought process on drug users.

  2. Terrible story–hopefully the child comes out ok. I have a kid at Mercantile Kindercare and one at Eliot/Charter St, both areas which have recurring evidence of homelessness and drug use. I’ve made numerous 311 reports of needles throughout the neighborhood, but I hope a more assertive policing approach happens soon in the area. Perhaps the recent arrest of a drug-addicted, armed felon committing multiple robberies will hasten this.

  3. Vigilance from the community will really help! We need more eyes. Please call 911 to report use and needles, not 311.

  4. As the weather turns the addicts are going to congregate at the North End Library. The neighborhood council in conjunction with the police should explore options to curb loitering by drug addicts in our public spaces and facilities, especially the library.

  5. Terrible that parents of children have to worry about needles near schools and basically throughout the neighborhood .Of course the petty crimes of stolen packages ,the shoplifting at CVS and other stores and theft from cars , b&e’s of apartments and bicycles being stolen are all related to the addicts.

  6. The new North End Coalition just hired a Director with Substance Use Experience to work with the community in addressing this. They are also looking for an outreach worker to walk the streets and work with BPD. If you know of anyone for this position, please let them know.

  7. Christopher Columbus Park is also having similar issues: needles in and among the rose bushes, empty alcoholic drink bottles and cigarette butts on the ground (even though the smokers are in a no-smoking zone), garbage left behind after an illegal overnight snooze, etc. Unfortunately, “don’t do it” signage is not as noticeable as it could be. Folks see an opportunity, and take it, to the detriment of those, young and old, who choose to play there expecting a safe and clean environment. We need more city help to curb the negative and enhance the positive.

  8. Yes, we have the problem in CC Park, too.
    Our volunteers who work in the gardens and around the Park, ALWAYS perform a ‘clean-sweep’ before we get to work. It’s been amazing what items we have found. We have a procedure we follow to-the-letter when we find syringes with or without needles and caps, or caps alone. Please do this and teach your children, too.
    #1. DO NOT TOUCH !!!!!
    #2. Once an adult has been told of the find, that, or any adult should NOT pick the syringe, etc. up with bare hands, or even gloves. PLEASE use some form of ‘tong’s’ to pick it up. It could have the dust from a crushed drug, such as Fentanyl, on it which can be inhaled or get on the person’s skin. DANGER!
    #3. The school should have a box to deposit it in, as we have at CC Park. The Health Dept. or Police can give you one. Once safely in the Haz-Mat container, call the Police or Health Dept. or 311 to come and collect it.
    This is the procedure to follow!
    We often joke that the Horticulture Committee of Christopher Columbus Park is not just a bunch of sweet little old people trimming rose bushes on a nice day, we are a definite Haz-Mat team who wear thick-soled shoes, long sleeves and gloves for a reason.
    Although this may seem like overkill, PLEASE take the above steps seriously.
    Our wonderful Police Dept. will assist you.
    Thank you for reading. Now, please act on the above information!

  9. Their was a report on the news this morning that a child from the Elliot school was injured by a discarded needle.

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