NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - New York City officials say that drug addicts and junkies drop up to 5,000 needles in Bronx parks every week. It is a staggering statistic. City agencies have come up with a plan to, at the very least, clean up the problem.
Every day, Lamelle Gavin, 16, walks from his apartment in the South Bronx to the rec center at St. Mary's Park. He told Fox 5 that the sight of needles on the ground has become uncomfortably familiar. Mousa Ba, 22, Cheick Fofana, 21, also spend their nights at the rec center. They say that after dark, users walk around like zombies haunting blocks near the park.
The Parks Department and Health Department have a plan to keep those needles out of sight. Workers will install 60 syringe-disposal kiosks at several high-use parks throughout the Bronx.
City Council Member Diana Ayala said that this measure helps address the need to keep needles away from children while the city works on a more long-term solution.
It may not keep the drugs off the streets and out of the parks and playgrounds, but Mousa said hopes it will be a start to cleaning them up.
This announcement came just weeks after Mayor Bill de Blasio laid out a plan to open four injection centers in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn. Public hearings for those specific locations are expected to begin soon.