Drugs in the Park

Some say one local park has been completely taken over by addicts.

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By Carla Castano

It is no secret drugs and alcohol are a major problem many communities face.
But now some say one local park has been completely taken over by addicts.

If you take a walk at Washington Jefferson Park, it won't take long before you see plenty of beer bottles, drug and needles, you'll also find see a lot of people who appear to be high or drunk.

"I call justice doing whatever you want out of sight out of mind," says Ken Towery. Towery spends much of his time in clear sight at Jefferson Washington Park. "I drank last night real heavy about a gallon of whiskey," adds Towery.

Recovering meth addict Troy Atterbury tells us the problem goes far beyond alcohol.

"It is a good place to buy drugs. See that guy on the bike I've bought meth from him before myself," says Atterbury.

Most of the people we met at the park have extensive criminal records. Atterbury was no expception.

He explains, "I did my whole 20s in jail."

Now working to get a job and to get his life on track Atterbury would also like to see the park cleaned up.

"You've got people living in the bathrooms it is unsafe," says Atterbury.

Eugene Police Officers Judd Warden and Tim Haywood say patrols come through as often as they can but there's not much else they can do.

"Right over on that concrete block officer warden encountered a 14 year old actively shooting up, says Officer Haywood.

For people who would like to use the park for what it was made for it is a shame to see the park stretching 6 blocks, being used as a place to get high.

Once reason this park could be so popular among addicts is it's location it is with blocks of several agencies that serve the homeless.

Officers Warden and Haywood say they were on bike patrol through the park until a couple weeks ago when the program was cut due to a staffing problem. They say since the program was cut they are already seeing an increase in criminal activity at the park.

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