- Associated Press - Friday, March 2, 2018

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A West Virginia mayor wants to end the county’s needle exchange program as he says too many needles are ending up on streets and playgrounds.

News outlets report Charleston Mayor Danny Jones said Thursday that he wants to make it illegal for the program to pass out needles because they’re drug paraphernalia. Jones says more than 500,000 syringes have been passed out by the program, which runs on a one-to-one exchange program, and that 14 city employees have been poked by dirty needles since 2013.

Police Chief Steve Cooper says the program is bringing a criminal element into the city that’s “unfair for one police department.”

President of the Kanawha-Charleston Board of Health, Brenda Issac, has called for an internal review of the agency’s harm reduction and needle exchange program.

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