West Central Community Center clearing dangerous trash from park - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

West Central Community Center clearing dangerous trash from park

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A few times a week, Ben Baird and David Byrnes choose to do some dirty work to keep the kids in their care, clean. A few times a week, Ben Baird and David Byrnes choose to do some dirty work to keep the kids in their care, clean.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

A few times a week, Ben Baird and David Byrnes choose to do some dirty work to keep the kids in their care, clean. 

"It started because one day we found a needle in the playground" at AM Cannon Park, said Baird. A place where they take dozens of children from the West Central Community Center, where they both work, to play.

"We find needles that still have heroine in them," explained Baird. "We find needles that still have blood." 

They find a lot of syringes near the playground, since the sprinklers don't hit that area of the park. 

"We find stuff tucked into nooks and crannies," said Baird. "All it takes is a kid to stick their hand right in there." 

One day this summer, they found 17 syringes during a single search. 

And now that fall is in full swing, fallen leaves make searching somewhat tougher. 

"They're tucked right into edge of concrete and bark," they explained. "Usually when you find one, you're going to find more." 

And for Ben and David, one is too many.

"These kids are our responsibility when they're in our care, and we do our best to protect them," they said.

 The Spokane Parks Department makes regular sweeps of all of the parks in Spokane and this is not an issue in every one. 

But if you do find something that looks unsafe, don't touch it, and call Parks Operations at 509-363-5455 or the police.

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