ITHACA N.Y.(WENY)-- In February of 2016, the city of Ithaca released a proposal calling for the implementation of a safe injection site.Essentially, it would provide a space for those who are addicted to the act of using under the supervision of medical professionals. The topic has now become a key point of controversy leading up to the midterm elections. Democratic congressional candidate Tracy mitrano has publicly expressed she would support the idea of a safe injection site, if it has the backing of the police department.
"The union itself is hesitant to support that at this time, there just isn't enough research on the effects to the community and we do recognize that they do require law enforcement participation and in general we would be willing to have that conversation to look into it," says Eric Doane, President of the Ithaca Police Benevolent
Aside from continuing the conversation, the PBA is concerned about how they would properly staff such a site.
"We don't have the personnel to participate in that, the city has continued to cut our staffing but kept trying to add police services at the same time..they're aren't people to do that," says Doane
While the PBA would be an essential factor, officials with the union say they don't feel they should be the deciding factor.
"There shouldn't be one group or entity making that decision, it should be the community as a whole, and all parts of that community making that decision whether we want to essentially condone this behavior..this use of illegal drugs," says Doane
For the past year,WENY News has continuously attempted to obtain a comment or plan update from Ithaca mayor Svante Myrick regarding the proposed safe injection site. Our calls and emails have yet to be returned