Bay Ridge

Curtis Sliwa joins Bob Capano in calling for release of city-funded study of ‘Intravenous Injection Centers’

City Council Candidate Says City Hall Is Stalling to Protect Mayor’s Reelection Bid

August 15, 2017 By John Alexander Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa with City Council Candidate Bob Capano. Photo courtesy of Bob Capano

In March, City Council candidate Bob Capano received an endorsement from Guardian Angels founder and popular WABC radio personality Curtis Sliwa. Now Sliwa is joining Capano in calling for the release of a city-funded study of intravenous injection centers.

Capano, a candidate for the 43rd City Council District (Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach), announced on Tuesday that Sliwa has joined his call on the City Council and Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito to provide the status of what he referred to as a long-overdue $100,000 taxpayer-funded study.  Capano called the delay a stall tactic to hide the plan from voters before the general election.

According to Capano, in September 2016 the New York City Council announced that the city would allocate $100,000 in taxpayer funds for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to conduct a six-month study on the feasibility of opening “Supervised Injection Facilities” in New York City. These centers would allow addicts to inject illicit drugs like heroin under medical supervision with sterile syringes in a safe and clean setting.

Capano claims that the de Blasio administration has refused to comment on the status of the study and that Mark Viverito’s office has not returned calls from Capano seeking an update. 

Sliwa said, “In the 1990s, I and the Guardian Angels, while patrolling the East End of Vancouver British Columbia came across the new supervised injection facilities that were opening for the first time in that city.  Vancouver then and now has a serious heroin problem.  The first result of the injection facilities opening up is that there were more heroin junkies coming in from other parts of Canada to take advantage of Vancouver leading the way.”

Sliwa claimed that this added to the growing heroin epidemic in Canada. “The other problem is that you had to first buy your heroin in the streets from street dealers and then use that for your fix in the injection facilities. With the increase in junkies coming into the east end of Vancouver, it brought an increase in dealers.  The purpose given was that this would create harm reduction for the junkies.  It would slow the spread of HIV and hepatitis C.  The only result I saw was that it attracted more junkies into the neighborhoods with injection facilities and more heroin dealers.”

This all should serve as a warning to the U.S., according to Sliwa. “Based on the experience of Vancouver British Columbia, why would we open up injection facilities in New York City where we already have a growing problem of use of heroin when in fact it would attract more junkies into the neighborhoods with the sites and more dealers. This study and plan is doomed to failure.” 

Capano told the Brooklyn Eagle, “Curtis Sliwa’s experiences in Vancouver with the Guardian Angels confirms exactly what I have been saying — opening heroin injection facilities in local neighborhoods will only attract more drug dealers and addicts. If you think there has been a rise in car and home robberies now, imagine what will happen if one of these facilities opens in our community when addicts are walking in the area looking to get money for their fix any way they can.”

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Capano views the study as a waste of taxpayer money, adding, “You don’t need a Ph.D. from Harvard to know these facilities would be bad news.”

Capano is running for the Republican Party’s nomination for the City Council seat currently held by Democrat Vincent Gentile, who cannot run for reelection due to term limits.

Other Republicans running for Gentile’s seat are Liam McCabe, Lucretia Regina-Potter and John Quaglione.

The Democrats running are Justin Brannan, Kevin Peter Carroll, Vincent Chirico, Rev. Khader El-Yateem and Nancy Tong.

Both the Republican and Democratic primaries take place on Sept. 12. The winner of each party will compete in the general election on Nov. 2.


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