Scott Allen, Chief of Police
153 Central St.
East Bridgewater, MA 02333
For Immediate Release
April 10, 2018
Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Email: [email protected]
East Bridgewater Police Chief Initiates Internal Review of Needle Disposal Policy
EAST BRIDGEWATER — Chief Scott C. Allen reports that the East Bridgewater Police Department is reviewing its internal procedures after a resident’s notification from last week about used syringes found in a field was not appropriately handled by the department.
In addition, Chief Allen would like to announce a new, and previously planned, needle and syringe collection and disposal program that will be implemented by the department this week.
“As a result of this situation coming to my attention today, I am reviewing our procedures and have initiated an internal review of the initial complaint and the failure to handle it appropriately according to department protocol,” Chief Allen said. “I have personally spoken to and apologized to the reporting party and those needles should have been picked up and discarded that day.”
Last week, a concerned resident came into the police station lobby to report that they found two used syringes on the grass in the Town Common.
The syringes were not picked up by police and were eventually discarded by a resident earlier this week.
“As a department that prides itself as being on the forefront of fighting the opioid epidemic, I am embarrassed to say the least,” Chief Allen said. “We will make sure this does not happen again in the future, and although the timing is poor with this incident, I believe the new disposal program will help to ensure that.”
With the opioid crisis impacting all communities, East Bridgewater Police have seen an increase in calls for service involving used needles being found along the town’s streets, parks and other areas.
Members of the public should not to touch or attempt to dispose of used needles by themselves, but should notify police dispatchers by calling 508-378-7223. A cruiser will be dispatched to respond to any locations where used needles are located and safely retrieve and discard them.
The new needle collection and disposal system includes portable collection kits that will be placed inside cruisers for officers who encounter used needles during their patrol shifts. It also includes a disposal and collection system that is stored at the police station.
The system, purchased earlier this year from medical waste company Clean Harbors Healthcare Services of Norwell, will enable the department to safely retrieve and dispose of used needles more efficiently.
The collection container in the police station lobby can be used by residents to safely dispose of capped needles.
Although the department has had a needle pickup policy in place since last year, as part of the new program, officers will now be available to better assist residents in the community and at the police station with safe needle and syringe disposal.