Council votes to ban safe injection site

The Covington City Council voted 6-1 at the Nov. 28 meeting to not allow a safe injection site in Covington.

This vote came following the King County Heroin and Prescription Opiate Addiction Task Force filing a final report and recommendations in regards to safe injection sites.

It was recommended by King County Executive Dow Constantine to have two safe-injection sites within the King County limits. There will be one in Seattle and another within the county limits.

Renton, Federal Way and Auburn have also decided against a safe injection site.

Mayor Jeff Wagner said the council felt an injection site would not fit in Covington and that the city does not have the funding for one.

“The city of Covington is not a drug overuse hot spot and that’s one of the requirements that King County has set. I mean we have an issue, but it’s not a large hot spot,” Wagner said. “We (also) do not have the public safety and resources necessary to go along with that (injection site).”

Wagner said to have a successful safe injection site in Covington, they would need to increase public safety and policing.

A fear among the citizens according to Wagner is there would be an increase in crime if an injection site were to come to Covington, which means there would need for more police on duty around the injection site area.

There were community members who spoke at the last council meeting on Nov. 28 and an earlier meeting in October, telling the council their fears of a safe injection site coming to Covington. He also said there were only two people in favor of a site coming to Covington.

“The majority of them also felt that this was not a hot spot and we did not want to encourage the use of heroin in our area,” Wagner said.

He also said once a person using leaves the site, there are not enough health resources for them. Wagner added, “they go in and do their injection,” then leave and are out on the streets and there is not way to force users to stay at the site until they are off their high.

“When they come out (of injection sites) they still need treatment and we just don’t have the resources for that,” Wagner said. “It’s a disease. It’s illegal drugs, but we know the people are addicted to it. Treatment is better and there’s a lot of nonprofit organizations helping with that (drug addiction).”

According to Wagner, Covington does not have nonprofits or organizations that could help those that are addicted to drugs get the help they need.

“We as a council brought this forward because who knows what’s going to happen down the road, we just wanted to come out and have the citizens feel more at ease with this,” Wagner said.

More in News

Covington names its Citizen of the Year

Jennifer Harjehausen was honored at Citizen of the Year during the July 10 council meeting. She has been living in Covington for about 14 years and loves volunteering in it.

Plett crowned Miss Cornucopia

Kentwood honors student earns $3,000 scholarship from Kent Lions

Marty McFadden wrangled form help from the Enumclaw Church of Latter Day Saints to help him and his family unpack the moving truck, which came all the way from South Jordan, Utah to Black Diamond. Photo by Ray Still
First family officially moves into Ten Trails

It was hard for the McFaddens to find a home, with houses flying off the market within days, even hours. So Marty told his agent to stop looking at what’s already been built, and start searching for what is going to be built, leading him and his family to Black Diamond.

Tiffany Nguyen, 17, left, of Kent, laughs with Tiffany Jinks, 16, of Tacoma, as she attempts to grab candy with an alligator clamp while learning about laparoscopic surgery last week during Nurse Camp at Tacoma General Hospital. Photo by Patrick Hagerty
Getting a hands-on opportunity, a real-life look

MultiCare’s annual Nurse Camp inspires future medical professionals

Concert series for Maple Valley Food Bank and more community news

Concert series for Maple Valley Food Bank The Maple Valley Food Bank… Continue reading

The Carlton Complex wildfire burned in north-central Washington state in 2014. Photo by Jason Kriess/Wikimedia Commons
King County burn ban under way

Other counties across the state have already enacted similar restrictions.

Dianne Laurine, a Commissioner for the Seattle Commission for People with Disabilities says that she needs plastic straws to drink liquids, and that she easily bites through ones made out of paper. Photo by Melissa Hellmann
Straw ban leaves disabled community feeling high and dry

Although disabled people are exempted from Seattle’s new law, the impacted community says that businesses haven’t gotten the message.

Green River students build fan app for Seattle Thunderbirds

By Andy Orr For The Reporter It goes without saying, Alberta native… Continue reading

Pamphlets, primary ballots headed for voters’ hands

Mid-July may not seem like election season, but candidates are in full… Continue reading

Most Read