If you’ve read my many blog posts about the homeless crisis in Seattle, this will come as no surprise to you.
From MyNorthwest.com: A police officer was stuck in the foot with a dirty needle while walking through a Seattle park on patrol this past Monday. Now, he’s receiving intense treatment to protect him from diseases, including HIV and Hepatitis, renewing concerns over police and resident safety in Seattle parks.
“This officer was simply walking through the grassy field of a city park, near where children were playing, when he stepped on the needle, which was hidden in the grass,” Sgt. Rich O’Neil, vice president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “The officer was taken to the hospital and is now undergoing ongoing, debilitating treatment to prevent HIV and other diseases.”
The officer works with the Navigation Team, the SPD’s unit that focuses on Seattle homelessness.
According to SPOG, the officer was on a routine walk through of Baker Park, a tiny residential park in the Crown Hill neighborhood. As the officer was walking, he felt a sharp pain between his toes that became so strong, he wasn’t able to stand.
Upon inspection, the officer saw a needle hub on the sole of his work boot. After removing the needle, the officer and his partner immediately traveled to a nearby hospital, along with the needle, so that it could be tested. He was met by colleagues at the hospital, who offered him moral support as he became concerned and was described as in a bit of shock, according to a SPOG source.
The medical protocol following exposure is lengthy and emotional. The officer is currently taking an anti-HIV cocktail, followed by additional tests to see what diseases he may have been exposed to.
Also from the story:
“The officer told SPOG that he would rather it be him that got suck, instead of a child enjoying the park. He has kids and fears for their safety even more after this incident.
Just weeks ago, another father, former FBI operative and current Seattle City Council candidate Naveed Jamali, was walking in Seattle, near the waterfront, when his young children found needles and used condoms in the open.”
Read the whole story here.