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Neighbors concerned about area around methadone clinic in Buffalo

Neighbor: "I don't know what else to do"
Posted at 6:21 PM, Oct 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-18 18:27:26-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Almost five years after the controversial methadone clinic at Hispanics United of Buffalo opened, neighbors continue to share their concerns.

"I don't know what else to do," D.J. Granville said. He moved into this neighborhood around the same time the clinic opened in 2014. It's the same clinic that brought protests to the neighborhood to stop it from opening.

"Since this methadone clinic opened up here on Virginia Street a couple of years ago, it's been nothing but complete chaos," he said.

His breaking point--finding yet another used needle in his front yard earlier this week not far from the clinic.

"The quality of life has been drastically reduces. Littering, drug deals, car accidents, traffic," he said. Granville is in the unique position of being the chief of narcotics at the Erie County Sheriff's Office. That means he's called to his own neighborhood for investigations alongside Buffalo Police.

"I know what I'm seeing. I know what I'm doing based on training and experience, I see what goes on here and it's ruining our neighborhood," he said.

Granville says he doesn't blame the city or the police and he wants those that need help to get it, just not here in his neighborhood.

"We're here to continue to be a good neighbor," Geno Russi said. He was and still is the Executive Director at Hispanics United. He acknowledges the concerns of the community, citing a rocky relationship with neighbors from the start. At the clinic, no needles are used in the process, according to Russi.

"The problem with the needles has nothing to do with this clinic," he said. Moving forward--Russi wants to work with anyone concerned to find middle ground. He said he's already started to reach out to neighbors to try and address their concerns.

"I'm willing to do what needs to be done, but I need the community's help, I need the police department's help," he said.