Syringe meeting put off

SAUGUS – Scheduling conflicts were blamed for the cancellation of an important Thursday evening meeting at Veterans Memorial Elementary School, where parents, police, the public and members of the Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) were slated to discuss the problem of discarded hypodermic needles and syringes.Two syringes were found in the playground at the Hurd Avenue school in mid-April by a parent walking his pre-school-age daughter. The incident caused a furor among parents who have been seeking ways to prevent such dangers from occurring again.Jeannie Meredith, co-president of the Veterans School PTO, said scheduling conflicts arose early Thursday, forcing the meeting postponement. No new date has been set.In recent months, police have been dispatched repeatedly to pick up syringes left in parks, on sidewalks and along road shoulders. Last Friday, 20 syringes were found near the Riverside Cemetery office on Winter Street. On Sunday morning, a pair of syringes and a $100 bill were retrieved from the ground near 91 Holland St. Hours later, police responded to the Dunkin’ Donuts at 508 Lincoln Ave. in Cliftondale Square, where a woman attempted to rob the coffee shop by brandishing a needle and syringe.Selectman Scott Crabtree said he and Police Detectives Kevin Murphy and Sean Moynihan have been visiting the town’s schools to meet with PTO members, teachers and administrators concerned about the drug activity.Police Chief Domenic Dimella said Thursday the department will conduct a security survey at the Veterans School. “We’re assessing the lighting and looking at the possibility of cameras,” he said. “I have stepped up patrols, but I need to emphasize the public should call us if they see suspicious activity in those areas. It’s going to take everybody working together.”

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