Sheetz tests new lighting to deter heroin addicts
ALTOONA, Pa. (WJAC) -- Sheetz is testing out blue lighting in one location's restrooms to deter heroin addicts from shooting up in the convenience stores.
The blue lights are designed to prevent people from finding their veins, according to the convenience store's corporate office.
Police in Altoona said they do see overdoses in public restrooms about once or twice a month, but people overdose more often in cars and parking lots.
Like many people in Altoona, Tiffany Reed said she finds herself at Sheetz just about everyday. She said she'd hate to have people using drugs in the restrooms.
"I have little cousins, and if they would walk into a bathroom and see someone shooting up with a needle, I couldn't imagine," Reed said.
Jan Mills Sr, another Sheetz customer, said he's not sure how big of a dent the lights will make in the overall problem of addiction.
"They'll do drugs everyplace," he said.
For Sheetz, he thinks it might at least keep their bathrooms safer for customers and staff.
"I don't think it'll work. I can understand Sheetz not wanting it to occur and if that drives them away, fine, but I don't think it's going to do it," Mills said.
Sheetz public relations manager Nick Ruffner released a statement Tuesday.
"One of our highest priorities at Sheetz is creating a safe and secure environment for our customers and employees," he said. "The light system in the restrooms at this New Kensington store (Westmoreland County) is designed to help our customers and employees avoid dangerous situations.
"This system is being tested at just this store for the time being, and it is too early to see the full results at this time or to discuss any plans to expand this test."