City officials in Manchester, New Hampshire, have received the first round of approval for tens of thousands of dollars to pay contractors for biohazard cleanup on public property.
Public Health Director Tim Soucy says the funds aren't in response to an uptick in crime, the city is just looking for a better, more efficient way to clean up.
Soucy says he came up with the idea along with fire and police officials after recent incidents in the city, including a homicide at Prout's park where he says part of the bleachers were removed due to blood. There was also a stabbing at a parking garage, where Soucy said he himself and public works crews actually cleaned the blood one morning.
"We would be working with contractors who work with biohazard remediation all the time, it would take the burden off our fire department, public works folks so we have a more efficient safer way of doing it," Soucy said.
If the budget is approved, it would pay for biohazard companies to clean up blood and bodily fluids at crime scenes and accidents.
"Our fire department will come out with bleach and a water solution sometimes. If you're using a high pressure hose you can get a little more splashing then you'd like to see so this helps us contain the scene," Soucy said.
The money will only be used for cleanup on public property.
"I think it's important to note this is not being driven by crime, this is being driven by a way to do things safer and more efficiently," Soucy said.
Soucy also added that the funds will also protect city officials.
"We're always concerned with HIV, hepatitis C, hepatitis B, the blood born pathogens so this is just a new way that's more efficient of cleaning up a crime scene or a trauma scene the result of a motor vehicle accident," he said.
Cheryl Schwotzer lives right near Prout's park. While the Attorney General's Office has a separate fund for homicide cleanups, she and her husband say they support the public funding.
"This is probably only the second time I've been down here since it happened, because I just don't want to be here anymore," Schwotzer said. "I think it's a good idea to have the professionals do it, people that are trained."
Approval for the funding will have to go to the full committee of Alderman in October.
Soucy says he believes the money would last for years and if approved, they would make a policy for managing it.