Residents speak out against mobile needle exchange in Rand


A proposal for a new need exchange program created quite the controversy in one Kanawha County community.

Dozens of neighbors in Rand came together on Monday night to discuss a mobile needle exchange for their area.

People overwhelmingly spoke out against the proposal at the Community of Rand Association Meeting.

Some there expressed the the program is a good idea but not at the cost of the public's safety.

"It's a very complicated issue, I would like to see some sort of tightly supervised needle exchange program because I think generally it's a good public health move, but it has to be done in such a way it doesn't endanger the community at large," CORA President Robert White said.

The meeting comes on the heels of some Charleston city leaders debating the future of the needle exchange program at the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones wants possessing needles to be illegal in the city again, which would essentially end the program at the health department. Charleston Police Chief Steve Cooper has also expressed his displeasure with the program, saying thousands of discarded needles have been found around the city that put first responders and neighbors in harms way.

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