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City finds more drug paraphernelia in parking ramps

By Leah Linscheid, llinscheid@wkbt.com
Published On: Aug 28 2013 06:36:46 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 29 2013 01:52:34 PM CDT

WKBT, News8000.com

LA CROSSE, WI -

It's a part of town that stays busy during rush hour, but La Crosse's downtown parking ramps have police worried about a different kind of trafficking.

"There's been a slight increase in drug activity in La Crosse, especially in heroin,” La Crosse Police Department spokesperson Pat Hogan said. “We've seen an increase in needles and stuff like that."

Just on Tuesday morning alone, the city’s parking maintenance man, Steve Dresen, found four hypodermic needles while cleaning one of the ramps.

"Used to be I'd find a couple a year, but now it's almost every week. I probably find at least 2,3,4, it's very common,” Dresen said.

Police have recently cracked down on drug use in the city's public spaces. This spring, officers stepped up night patrols in Copeland Park after hearing reports of used hypodermic needles in the area.

"It was a concern for us, especially for the public using that spot,” Hogan said.

The increased effort produced results - police say they haven't had any more reports of drug use in the park.

But for Dresen, finding needles in his parking ramps is a concern, and if he continues to find them, police may have a new spot to target.

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