Spring thaw uncovering disturbing problem in La Crosse

Hypodermic needles showing up on streets and sidewalks

The spring thaw is uncovering a disturbing problem in La Crosse.

In the past month, the La Crosse Fire Department says they’ve been responding to daily reports of stray hypodermic needles being found on sidewalks and streets all around the city.

Often times, the needles are used for drugs and can be a hotbed for disease.

Some at the fire department believe the county’s effort to combat the spread of disease through the Needle Exchange Program could also be  playing a role in the amount of needles being found.

“It’s just disappointing that there’s an effort to get clean syringes out to people that have drug abuse problems. And the effort is valid to avoid communicable diseases, but if we’re ending up with needles and syringes laying on all of the streets and on sidewalks, it’s kind of contradicting that effort,” said firefighter Jim Hillcoat.

If you come across any needles, contact the La Crosse Fire Department at (608) 789-7260 or the La Crosse County Emergency Dispatch Center at (608) 785-9634.