No charges filed in S.O.A.R. needle distribution program investigation

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February 07 2021 06:00 pm

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The Charleston Police Department has completed it’s investigation into Solutions Oriented Addiction Response (S.O.A.R.) and no charges will be filed against the organization regarding its needle distribution program.

The group was under investigation for distributing needles through their Harm Reduction Program in the Capitol City. In mid-October 2020, police were first made aware of allegations against the company regarding “distribution of needles without all licenses required by state law or approval from the Chief of Police,” allegedly violating a city ordinance.

Police say the Department of Health and Human Resources confirmed there are no “licenses” from the State of West Virginia required to operate a needle distribution program and the Charleston City Ordinance, therefore, does not apply. The police department has determined no laws were broken in the process. The Charleston Police Department also says the state only contemplates regulation on “for-profit” entities, not non-profit groups.

Charleston Police Chief James “Tyke” Hunt said in the investigation he will work with the City Attorney to revise the ordinance to properly address the issue.

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