Ann Arbor Library: A Haven For Heroin Users?
ANN ARBOR (WWJ/AP) - Documents show that Ann Arbor police have been called to handle hundreds of complaints, including reports of heroin overdoses, at the city’s downtown library during the past three years.
The figures were published Wednesday by the Ann Arbor News, which obtained a list of calls for police service at the library dating back to Jan. 1, 2011, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.
The documents show there were 182 calls for service in 2011, 138 calls in 2012, 112 calls in 2013, and 33 calls through March 17 for 2014, according to the report. Complaints range from assault, vandalism and trespassing to indecent exposure, drug activity and people passed out.
The newspaper also obtained reports from the Ann Arbor District Library that detail at least eight instances of known or suspected heroin use, including four overdoses. Police Chief John Seto declined to confirm whether anyone who was caught using heroin at the library was arrested or charged with a crime.
Library Director Josie Parker recently sounded an alarm about the heroin activity. She’s warned the city could see many of the same problems if a public park is built on the city-owned Library Lot next to the downtown library.
“We’ve had heroin in the last few years because heroin has become so inexpensive. Prior to that, we had a cocaine problem here where the library was being used as a cocaine drop,” Parker told the newspaper. “Checking the bathroom wastebaskets [for needles] is routine here, and it’s most days that we find paraphernalia or alcohol bottles. Most days it’s one or the other or both.”
Seto declined to say whether or not police are actively investigating drug activity at the library.
“There has been usage there in the past three years and we continue to work with library staff and security on it,” he said.
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