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Ossipee needle collection problem will not happen again

May 18, 2017
OSSIPEE — A misunderstanding, miscommunication, and a lack of a clear process all seemed to have been ironed out this week in Ossipee. At issue, as reported last week, was an Ossipee resident by all accounts rightfully upset that her pleas to clean up a pile of needles went unanswered.

Julie Rosiak came to the selectmen's meeting May 8 and described how she found 11 hypodermic needles on the roadside. She ended up making several calls to three police agencies, sat in her vehicle babysitting the needles waiting for someone to show up to no avail, and then ended up packaging them up herself and delivering them to a state trooper who she happened to see at a gas station.

With the snow now melted, Selectmen Richard Morgan said May 15 that there is a good chance more of these needles are going to be discovered. Anyone who happens to find needles roadside or anywhere else for that matter is asked not to touch them but rather immediately call 911, Ossipee Police Department at 539-2011 or Carroll County Sheriff's Department at 539-2284.

Since Rosiak made her initial publicly filmed complaint at the May 8 meeting, several things happened. She met with the county sheriff who, she said, shifted the blame to the Ossipee Police. She had a satisfying conversation with Ossipee Police Chief James Eldridge, leaving that meeting understanding the extremely busy shift that department had the needle evening and assured that such a plea for help would not go unanswered in the future.

Rosiak seemed most impressed that the Ossipee officer who was on duty the night of her plea met with her after she went public, offering some explanation but mostly accepting responsibility for the way the call was, or wasn't, handled. "I completely understand now why things fell into place the way they did," said Rosiak.

Selectman Robert Freeman, who is also a member of Center Ossipee Fire Department, said Ossipee Police do an excellent job and are very busy. If they ever need the support of the fire department, he said, its members have the equipment and training to respond and retrieve dirty needles.

During the week, Morgan also met with the town's police chief to understand how the events of the evening had unfolded and the lack of response. He reported he feels confident that found needles will be dealt with immediately in the future. He suggested in the future if anyone has a complaint or concern about the police department that they first try talking to the police chief before coming to selectmen.

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