A volunteer group that removes drug paraphernalia from the streets has run into a problem.
Queen City Patrol has lost its needle pickup van after it was totaled on the weekend in an accident.
Organizer Patty Will says they are hopefully back on the street soon, but it will mean a great number of needles will be lying on the ground across the city as she estimates there will be around 1,000 to pick up.
Will says the search is on to get a new vehicle to use and the group believes they may have found one.
“There is a 12-passenger van that we are looking at through the Auto Auction.” Will said. “We are hoping we can get a payout from SGI on the vehicle we lost so we can get our name in there for the auction on Saturday.” Will said. “If that doesn’t work, we will have to pound the pavement to see what we can find.”
Queen City Patrol just celebrated its one year anniversary. In that time, Will says they have picked up an estimated 28,000 needles. She says that number is tough to rationalize.
“A few different things runs through my mind. It doesn’t surprise me because of the overdose problem that we have in Regina.” Will said. “When you add that to the fact that we don’t have any needle drop-off bins. There are two in Regina, but Saskatoon has 23 and Prince Albert has 18 so having more of those bins would be helpful as would a safe injection site. We have spoken with the city and our new mayor (Sandra Masters) was out with us for a patrol before the election so she knows what we need.”