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Charleston Mayor Calls for Audit of KCHD & Harm Reduction Program

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) - Charleston Mayor Danny Jones is calling for the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources to audit Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and its Harm Reduction Program.



The Charleston Police Department sent an undercover informant into the KCHD's Needle Exchange Program.

They say that their informant has a criminal history of obtaining drugs through fraud.

Charleston Police say that in their first attempt, their informant was able to get 10 needles from the program using a fake letter from a landlord.

Police say that this happened on Friday, March 23rd, 2018,  after KCHD had announced they were making changes to make the Needle Exchange program safer and more secure.

The Chief of the Charleston Police Department, Steve Cooper, is now requiring KCHD to only use retractable needles. He is allowed this authority through city ordinances.

Chief Cooper also says that all needle exchange participates must get blood tests done for infectious diseases and meet with drug counselor before getting clean needles.

KCHD will become a one to one needle exchange, meaning patients must return all needles they have been given.

Kanawha County Commissioner Kent Carper said of the changes, “I applaud Charleston Police Chief Steve Cooper’s initiative as a common sense approach to help mitigate the issue with thousands of discarded, dirty needles in Charleston and Kanawha County.  His sound regulation, in my judgment, simply requires the Kanawha Charleston Health Department to do what it should have already been doing, and what it had promised to do all along."



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