Seattle police officer pricked by used needle in city park

Seattle police officer pricked by used needle in city park (KOMO News)

SEATTLE -- A veteran Seattle police officer is being treated after stepping on a used syringe in a city park.

What makes it noteworthy is he’s a member of the city’s Navigation Team that deal with street campers, the mentally ill and drug addicts on a daily basis.

“This is 100 percent scary,” says Seattle Police spokesperson Sgt. Sean Whitcomb.

The unidentified officer was walking with Baker Park on Crown Hill on Monday when the needle went through his shoe. Whitcomb did not know what kind of shoe he was wearing.

“You have an officer doing exactly what we ask, being on foot patrol, being in a neighborhood and gets a needle stick,” says Whitcomb.

The officer was taken to the hospital and began receiving preventive treatment for blood borne diseases like HIV and Hepatitis, which typically follow a needle stick. It can involve blood tests for a period of one year.

It comes as no surprise to Noreen McCarron who lives across the street.

“I saw a blanket move, a lady sat up, I saw her bend her arm, she was shooting up,” says McCarron.

Now that a police officer was needle struck, she says she’ll think twice about taking her granddaughter to the park.

“The fear of her getting injured, picking up a syringe is a deterrent for a normal family’s use of the park, which I think is sad,” says McCarron.

Police want people to heed the warning that parks offer more than just fun, they are also injection sites.

“Everyone should be careful, watching where they walk, being aware of these things,” says Whitcomb. “We do and it still happened to us."

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