The weather is warming up, and we here at Rocky Point Watch wanted to share some important safety information with you. Long Island unfortunately, along with many parts of the country is dealing with an opioid epidemic. With that can come a variety of concerning issues for the community at large. We would like to share with you some important tips and things to consider should you come across a hypodermic needle on the ground during your summer activities.
As always, we can only advise but ultimately what you choose to do you're doing at your own risk.
1. DON'T PICK UP THE NEEDLE
Picking them up could cause you to be exposed to bodily fluids, or potentially deadly chemical substances.
2. YOU CAN CALL SOMEONE TO PICK THEM UP
You should call 911 and report needles in a public place with exact location as soon as possible. If you're in Rocky Point or somewhere within the 7th Precinct, dispatch will send a sector car to follow up, depending upon location. SCPD sector cars are equipped with a sharps container for disposal. After you call police, you can contact Rocky Point Watch. We have a database of needle locations so that we can understand possible patterns. We will add the location of the needle you've found into our database for analysis.
3. IF YOU INSIST ON PICKING THEM UP YOURSELF, USE GLOVES, DISPOSABLE TONGS AND A SECURE CONTAINER.
WE DO NOT RECOMMEND THAT YOU DO THIS, HOWEVER WE ARE AWARE THAT SOMETIMES FOLKS TAKE MATTERS INTO THEIR OWN HANDS. Put needles in a puncture-proof, lidded container. Medical sharps containers are best. Plastic bottles are next best, but use something thicker than a milk jug – like a jug for detergent or kitty litter. Once you have placed the sharps into a container, do not attempt to take them out. If you decided to dispose of the hypodermic instrument yourself then you can still call it into Suffolk County Police on their non-emergency line at 631-852-COPS or 631-852-NARC and let them know that a needle was found and disposed of or you can drop off the container at the 7th Precinct in Shirley.
We hope this guide will help you and our community to better understand what to do when it comes to sharps that are disposed of in a public area. Please feel free to share this article to raise awareness and to keep our community informed.