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Sheriff Responds to Methadone Clinic Concerns

"I certainly sympathize with the neighbors. I wouldn't be happy about it either," said Sheriff Mullendore. "But what do you do with it? Where do you put it? It has to go somewhere. It's one of those social necessities that you have to have because we do have a heroine addiction problem in Washington County and that is one of the methods to address the addiction."

HAGERSTOWN, Md. - Dozens of residents spoke up Tuesday night asking their elected officials about a decision to move a methadone clinic near Williamsport.

"I mean who's going to come help us. You know they got bullet proof glass and all this, and do I need to wear a bullet proof vest to go to work everyday?," said a concerned resident on Tuesday night.

Most of the concerns centered around safety, traffic and police enforcement.

"Keep these people where they belong, next to law enforcement," said Commissioner Terry Baker during the meeting.

Commissioner Baker also suggested moving the clinic to the Phoenix Color building which is located behind the Washington County Sheriff's Office but it's a suggestion that officials said isn't a feasible option. 

"Because you have a detention center next door to that, we have trusties that are out all the time doing grounds maintenance and so forth, I mean that would be amount to putting the fox pen next to the chicken coop. Just not a viable situation," said Sheriff Doug Mullendore, Washington County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Mullendore said he's already had meetings the director and physicians who will be operating this methadone clinic and he said there will be a deputy at the clinic on opening day to monitor the situation.

"We do not want to flood the area with deputies, that's not what's needed," said Sheriff Mullendore. "I mean you're talking about people who have an illness and it's a heroin addiction so they're already skeptical of the police so you know we don't want to flood the area and create issues that way for the clinic as well."

Currently, officials said traffic congestion from limited parking has been the most common issue at the current methadone clinic located on Day Road in Hagerstown

Although there are concerns about the clinic, officials said it's needed in our community. 

"I certainly sympathize with the neighbors. I wouldn't be happy about it either," said Sheriff Mullendore. "But what do you do with it? Where do you put it? It has to go somewhere. It's one of those social necessities that you have to have because we do have a heroine addiction problem in Washington County and that is one of the methods to address the addiction."

Sheriff Mullendore said there is a licensing bureau for methadone clinics and if problems arise, officials will report them. The methadone clinic is scheduled to open on April 24th.

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