Philadelphia (CBS) — Philadelphia announced Tuesday that it wants to become the first U.S. city to have “safe injection” sites in attempt to help solve the opioid epidemic in the city. Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross tells The Dom Giordano Program on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that he is struggling with the concept of these sites in his city.
“I am not pushing for these sites, I’ve told you that on our previous call. For me, the only thing where I am, in terms of the space that I occupy, is feeling relegated to say, ‘Let me listen to your arguments,’ that’s where I am. I made it very clear to everyone who has written about this, I am not a proponent of this. However, I am struggling with these lives being lost. I am also struggling with the notion of how we are ever going to do this. It is illegal, it’s illegal and what are we asking the police officers to do. So, I don’t know if it’ll even get off the ground, to be perfectly honest.”READ MORE: 17-Year-Old Shot, Critically Injured While Playing With Guns In Olney Basement, Police Say
Ross explained that he would listen to the idea of a safe injection site program, despite his own struggle with them from a legal perspective.READ MORE: Student, Brother In Custody After Shooting Near Lincoln High School Leaves Man Dead, 16-Year-Old Injured, Police Say
“I did honestly go from so vitally opposed to it, that you couldn’t even begin to describe. Then, expecting my colleague to support that premise, only to have him say, ‘Wait a minute, I was where you are, but let me just tell you that you might be surprised.’ So, only being in a space right now to say, ‘Well, let me listen,’ and feeling like I’d be remissive if I didn’t open my ears, because that’s where I was before. [I] am not by any stretch of the imagination trying to convince anybody else.”
Ross also had praise for the celebratory crowd of fans, and police officers after Sunday night’s Eagles NFC Championship win. He also had a warning to fans who were still able to climb Crisco-slathered light poles.MORE NEWS: Philadelphia School District Warns Of Shift To Virtual Learning If SEPTA Strike Occurs
“Some folks were able to circumvent the Crisco. I don’t think they’ll be able to do (that, with) what we do next. But the officers and commanders demonstrated what it means to be a Philadelphia police officer.”