LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - A member of the Washburn Neighborhood Association is taking it upon himself to rid the streets of drug paraphernalia.
David Beving has lived in La Crosse for three years. For the last two, he has walked along the alley between 4th and 5th Streets Downtown in search of anything drug-related.
At least three times a week, when the weather warms up, he spends a few hours picking up things like syringes, crack pipes, and baggies.
Beving said one day he found 17 syringes within four blocks. He said the main reason he picks the stuff up is to keep the kids in the neighborhood safe.
"I don't know how much good I'm doing but I try to do what I can for it. The whole thing disgusts me. I don't like it in the neighborhood. I don't want the next generation of kids growing up thinking this is the norm," said Beving.
La Crosse firefighter and EMS Trainer Jim Hillcoat said, "I think it's great that there's somebody out in the community that's trying to help, whether its picking up trash on the side of the road, or picking up syringes in the alley. He's doing a good thing and we don't want to say don't do it but at the same time you have to be safe about it."
Hillcoat said when the snow first melted the fire department was getting several calls a day to pick up syringes, now they only get a couple calls a week.
He said there hasn't been a drug related overdose death in the city of La Crosse or La Crosse County so far this year.
Hillcoat suggests if you find drug paraphernalia, don't pick it up, instead call the County non-emergency dispatch number at (608) 785-9634.
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