Bay Ridge

Council hopeful blasts heroin shoot-up proposal

Capano says no need for ‘taxpayer funded shooting galleries’

October 6, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Bob Capano wants to put the brakes on a proposal to allow heroin addicts to shoot up in "supervised injection facilities" around the city. Eagle file photo by Paula Katinas

A proposal to allow drug addicts to legally shoot up in sanctioned facilities around New York City is coming under fire from a prospective City Council candidate who is blasting the idea as idiotic and dangerous.

“Brooklyn neighborhoods do not need clean, nice, medically supervised, taxpayer-funded shooting galleries for heroin junkies,” Bob Capano told radio host Curtis Sliwa in a recent appearance on Sliwa’s show on WABC.

Capano has launched a petition drive aimed at convincing Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council to scrap the proposal. 

The council has allocated $100,000 to study placing clinics called “supervised injection facilities” in New York City. The facilities would allow addicts to legally inject drugs such as heroin, Capano said. There are currently about 100 of these facilities in Europe and Canada, but none in the U.S.

Capano, a Republican who served as director of community boards for Marty Markowitz when Markowitz was Brooklyn borough president, recently announced his intention to run for the City Council seat in the 43rd Council District (Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst) in 2017. Capano is currently an adjunct professor of political science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The council seat he is eyeing is currently held by Democrat Vincent Gentile, who is term-limited and cannot run for re-election in 2017.

“If Mayor de Blasio and the City Council have their way, we could have vacant storefronts on Third Avenue, Fifth Avenue or 13th Avenue becoming a ‘supervised injection facility’ for addicts to shoot up and get high. These facilities do not solve the problems of drug addiction. It is bad for the taxpayer, bad for law enforcement and worse for addicts. Any funds spent on this issue should be focused on breaking the addicts’ dependency on drugs, not taking a step that basically decriminalizes the use of heroin,” Capano told Sliwa.

Proponents of the plan said the facilities would give the addicts the chance to indulge in drug use with clean needles, thereby reducing the risk of infection and disease.

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito defended the study to Politico. “The council’s new supervised injection impact study will assess the feasibility and impact of New York City having a program that provides a safe, clean haven to high-risk, vulnerable New Yorkers and will help prevent drug overdoses and disease transmissions,” she told Politico.

Drug overdose deaths in New York City increased 66 percent between 2010 and 2015, Gothamist reported, citing statistics from the city’s Department of Health. Of the 937 people who died of opioid overdoses in New York City in 2015, 556 died while taking heroin, Gothamist reported.

Further information on Capano’s petition drive is available at www.bobcapano.com.

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