Neighbors Find Needles in Yard

EUGENE, Ore. — As Lane County struggles with its budget crisis, some Eugene neighbors say they’re struggling to keep drugs off their streets–by themselves.

Those neighbors told KEZI 9 News they called the sheriff’s office, but they got little to no help.

On Tuesday afternoon, neighbors say they found a needle lying in the grass in someone’s yard, and it isn’t the first one they’ve said they’ve found.

“At first, I was very relieved that it was wintertime and my son wasn’t barefoot,” said neighbor Tom Burchell.

Burchell says that’s the first thing that went through his mind when his 13-year-old son found a needle near their front yard Tuesday afternoon.

“My son was on his way home from school, just got off the bus, and just about stepped on a hypodermic needle,” Burchell said.

Burchell says that wasn’t the first time he noticed a needle.

“About a month and a half ago, another hypodermic needle was found in the driveway of a residence just down the street,” he said.

He says in both instances, he and his neighbors called the Lane County Sheriff’s Office about the person they think is creating the drug activity, but the response is not what they were hoping for.

“They (the sheriff’s office) told me they didn’t have anyone who could come out. They told me to collect it myself and put it in a jar,” Burchell said.

Burchell says each time they call, deputies say they don’t have the manpower, so neighbors are doing what they can amongst themselves.

“We’re trying our best to get everyone to band together to keep an eye on this problem,” Burchell said.

But they’re afraid as the problem seemingly increases, the neighborhood watch isn’t going to cut it.

“My kids want to go outside to play, and I’m afraid for them. So, I feel like I’m between a rock and a hard place with the situation because law enforcement doesn’t have the resources, so I have to try and deal with it the best I can,” Burchell said.

The sheriff’s office was not available for comment Wednesday, but neighbors say when they’ve called, they’re told there just aren’t enough resources to come out right now.


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  1. Chelsea says:

    What Neighborhood?

  2. monroe says:

    Yes, please… what neighborhood?

  3. jason marks says:

    calling the sheriff because of a needle.

    What kind of APB do you want them to put out?

    Should we start a man hunt?

    Pick it up and get rid of it, that is what I do.

    You just waste police resources by expecting them to hold your hand.

    its LONG AFTER the fact. That is the fact.

  4. dori says:

    First of all, Jason, do you know how to properly dispose of the needle, or do you just throw them in the trash where people handling the trash might get infected?

    second of all, I called the police department because I found one in a parking lot. They told me not to touch it, not even with a plastic bag, and they’d get someone to pick it up.

    third of all, if it’s a heavy drug problem and you have to constantly worry about your children playing, then this is DEFINITELY worth an investigation, unless you want your kid infected by some needle that nobody could see in the grass!

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