SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno issued a statement Sunday night walking back his past statements on syringe access.
Mayor Sarno said that in light of the scourge of opioid addiction and the public health crisis it’s created he is, “Willing to explore the concept” of syringe access and other services.
The Mayor says his thought have “evolved.” Sarno also said that he won’t consider a safe injection site.
Mayor Sarno promises to fight to get state funding to help the city battle the drug crisis and get addicts and families access to preventative services to save and rehabilitate lives.
Mayor Sarno’s full statement is as follows,
“My thoughts on syringe access wraparound services have evolved and I am now willing to explore the concept and keep an open mind to it; though, I will not consider the use of a safe injection site. Many of us have been affected, whether through friends or family members directly or indirectly with the negative wrath of health and public safety issues – ‘this opioid crisis has destroyed lives and relationships!’ Working with concrete facts and with my Commissioner of Health and Human Services Helen Caulton-Harris, medical/health hospital care professionals, Police Commissioner John Barbieri, Sheriff Nick Cocchi and District Attorney Anthony Gulluni, I am hopeful to be able to work with Governor Baker and the state’s Department of Public Health to indicate our concerns, but more importantly, our direct input and requests on how their RFP should be crafted. If this is to move forward, key here is there must be treatment beds and full wraparound services for affected Springfield individuals and families. This is funding that I will steadfastly fight for. In past conversations and meetings with Sheriff Cocchi and medical/health hospital care professionals, my thought process is that these entities should be given the proper funding to really create a full frontal attack on this public health and safety crisis. I will continue to monitor the pros and cons of this issue, but I believe whether one is for or against this concept, we all agree something concrete needs to be done ASAP to increase educational and preventative services in order to save and rehabilitate lives.”