Commissioner: Mobile Syringe Exchange May Be Best Solution In Tippecanoe County

Feb 2, 2017

Credit deepfruit / https://www.flickr.com/photos/slippek/

Tippecanoe County has received about one-fourth of the grant money it requested to fund a syringe exchange services program aimed at slowing the spread of Hepatitis C among I-V drug users.

Commissioner Tracy Brown says the county accepted an $8,500 grant from the Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis.

The county had asked for nearly $33,000.

But Brown insists that’s a good first step toward obtaining cash to buy supplies for the program that, under state law, cannot be funded with taxpayer dollars.

He says the search for a location is ongoing, and a mobile facility may be the best way to address the concerns of Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski and Police Chief Pat Flannelly, who contend that operating the exchange in a fixed location could funnel addicts and crime into a specific neighborhood.

Brown says a mobile exchange may be the way to go.

“Finding that magic space, if you will, continues to be an issue, something that we continue to look at,” Brown says. “And one of, at least the temporary solutions, would be having a mobile application or mobile vehicle that we could take to different locations to provide the services.”

The grant money arrives one month after the Indiana State Department of Health approved Adler’s declaration of a public health emergency.

County health administrators were not available to comment Thursday afternoon.