Falmouth Residents Voice Concerns Over Planned Needle Exchange Program

FALMOUTH – Monday night’s Falmouth selectmen meeting was packed with residents expressing their concerns over a planned needle exchange program for East Falmouth.

Selectmen Chair Susan Moran called a 5 minute recess after starting discussion about the program, as selectmen were getting interrupted by residents.

The interruptions continued as representatives from the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod answered questions from the board and at times got contentious between selectmen and residents as board members asked the audience to remain quiet while people were speaking.

Residents are upset about the Board of Health’s decision to support the program last month without their input and the location where it will be, which is located across from St. Anthony’s Church.

“No one coming to this podium is against what you do, we’re against the process and how it was done,” said Falmouth resident John Neto.

The AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod has leased space at 178 East Falmouth Highway and services will include screening for sexually transmitted diseases, providing Narcan and collecting used syringes and providing new ones to those who inject drugs.

“I understand the fear and concern and emotion related to all this, but we’re all trying to protect and save lives here in Falmouth,” said Board of Health Chair Diana Molloy.

Residents are unhappy with the location of the program, as there a number of youth programs and services run out of St. Anthony’s Church.

Katie Riconda, the Director of Prevention and Screening for the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod and Dan Gates, its Chief Operating Officer gave a short speech to the board about its plans for Falmouth.

They also said that they understood the community’s concerns and want them to feel more comfortable about the program.

“We do understand the concerns and we would like to participate in the community forums to discuss this,” said Gates.

The Board of Health and Board of Selectmen ended the discussion by letting residents know that they plan to have more public forums and meetings to discuss the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod’s plans for Falmouth.

About CapeCod.com NewsCenter

The award-winning CapeCod.com NewsCenter provides the Cape Cod community with a constant, credible source for local news. We are on the job seven days a week.

737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy