You may have heard that there has been an application to the California Department of Health by an organization called the Orange County Needle Exchange Program to provide a syringe exchange service in several cities, including the City of Orange.
In a recent story posted online by the Orange County Register, which has since been updated, it was stated that the City of Orange has yet to contact the State and offer our official opinion on the proposal. In fact, Orange Police Chief Tom Kisela on May 14th sent a letter on behalf of Orange to express our opposition to the proposed needle exchange program. Orange is joined by four other cities and the County of Orange in opposing the program.
In his letter, Chief Kisela specifically cited concerns about the proposed location along the Santa Ana River Trail, especially in light of the recent efforts to by the County to relocate the individuals living in the former transient settlement and to restore the trail to its intended recreational use. Furthermore, he also referenced grave health and safety concerns regarding the operations of the program, which were borne out during a recent- and now shuttered- needle exchange program in a neighboring city.