By RYNE R. MARTIN
MASSENA - Saturday was a day made for playgrounds, and a group of volunteers made sure children and their caregivers had a safe environment later in the day as they enjoyed sunshine and temperatures hovering around the 70 degree mark.
Massena Village Police Chief Timmy J. Currier said nearly 50 volunteers spent time Saturday morning searching parks and public gathering places in Massena for discarded needles. They found just one needle Saturday morning.
Members of the Massena Drug Free Coalition, along with many volunteers, conducted a syringe sweep of parks and playground in Massena, looking for discarded syringes. Police have said over 60 discarded needles have been located in parks, playgrounds and sidewalks since January 2013, a reflection of the use of heroin in the community
Crews searchedAlcoa Field Park, Brighton Street play area, Elm Circle Park, the north side of the Footbridge Park, North Main Street Park, Springs Park, the Massena Creative Playground on Danforth Place, Jefferson School Playground, Madison School Playground, Nightengale School Playground and Trinity School Playground. The sweeps were completed within approximately two hours.
What a wonderful turnout we had, thanks to everyone that supported this initiative. We were able to break up into four teams and thoroughly check the play areas, Mr. Currier said. :Thankfully, only one syringe was located. It was at the Brighton Street play are. Massena Rescue Squad personnel safely removed it. Its a great sign that only one syringe was found.
But the villages police chief stressed visitors to parks and playgrounds still need to vigilant and be on the lookout for discarded syringes.
He said people locating a syringe in the village should not handle it. Call the police station (769-3577) and an officer will be dispatched to respond and discard of it. We would ask the caller to stay at the location until we arrive on scene, Mr. Currier said.