Jul 28, 2014
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Map of Hypodermic Needles Found Around Santa Cruz

A member of Take Back Santa Cruz compiled the map from accounts of needles found the past 11 months.

Map of Hypodermic Needles Found Around Santa Cruz
The pinpoints are terrifying, say members of Take Back Santa Cruz.

Each one represents one or more discarded needles found in the streets or public areas of Santa Cruz, posted on Facebook by Paul Garcia. They don't include those found and not reported by gardeners.

These are ones found by members of the Clean Team, a group of concerned residents who go out weekly and clean the streets, levees and parks.

Some of the comments include those who say that it used to be an aberration to find a needle; now all you have to do is look down while walking. There's also been a shift, observers say, from the Lower Ocean neighborhood, where the needle exchange van passed out needles for more than a decade, to the area around Emeline, where the county now distributes them.

A Santa Cruz City Council public safety sub-committee has suggested that the county come up with a way to label  the needles given out so they can be tracked to the users.

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