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Parents in Tooele upset after repeatedly finding used needles in public park

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Posted at 9:32 PM, Jul 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-20 09:30:34-04

TOOELE, Utah -- For 5-year-old Dale, Elton Park in Tooele is the perfect playground. But his mom doesn't feel the same about the spot.

“I don't feel safe at all letting my kids play,” Michelle Jaynes said of the park.

All because of what she found there Tuesday afternoon.

“In the sandbox where they were playing I seen three needles,” Jaynes said. “I grabbed a wipe and picked them up and threw them away.”

It's a problem Jaynes says is growing bigger and bigger.

“Oh, look, there are four more needles or two more needles at the park, said Emily Hershorin, another mother from Tooele.

Other parents are seeing the same problem and snapped pictures of the used, dirty needles scattered in and around the playground.

“We have to come and do a quick check before we can let the kids on the park at all,” Hershorin said.

Many fear it's only a matter of time until a tiny hand will unknowingly grab one of the needles.

“You want a safe community and a good place for your kids to grow up, but to have to look for needles and drug paraphernalia before you can let your kids play is ridiculous,” Hershorin said.

Parents here pray for change.

“Now I'm not even sure if we're going to come here anymore," Jaynes said.

Police in Tooele weren't available for an interview but say they are aware of the problem. Fox 13 reached out to the city's Parks and Recreation department but did not hear back.