Anchorage Police Department
Do you feel safe? Public safety is one of the basic reasons for government. Our crime rate is high now. You know that. Over my first term on the Assembly we have increased the police force from 325 to over 425. That is making a difference.
The reasons for our high crime rates are complex. Drug addiction and alcoholism have been increasing for years and will take years to decrease. We are seeing the impact of years of neglect for Alaska’s mentally ill. These combine with recent changes in State criminal laws that make keeping the bad guys in jail harder. A decrease in State prosecutors and a change in the way bail is used increased the presence of criminals in Anchorage.
The presence of over 1,000 homeless in our parks, rights of way and shelters is obvious. The reasons are many and not as obvious. We have made some progress on this but it is frustratingly slow. See the prevailing plan here.
Public safety is more than just cops chasing robbers. The downturn in the Alaska economy decreased resources to help with the addiction and mental health issues that can lead to crime. That has left Anchorage citizens footing the bill for these problems.
For a real education on policing take a look at The Anchorage Police Department Staffing and Deployment Study.
Here is some information on recidivism in Alaska.
Anchorage Fire Department
The Anchorage Fire Department has impressed me with every interaction I’ve had with them. When you need them, you need them 100%. When an employee had a potential heart attack, there was a knock on the office door moments after I gave the 911 dispatcher my address. In minutes, there was a contingent of firemen in control. After an out of control motorcyclist flew just feet behind me, I heard the sirens coming before I could reach the rider and dial 911. When my family was collateral damage after red light runner caused a crash, the AFD was there taking charge in just minutes. Do we expect anything less than this?
For Hillside residents, a wildfire is always a possibility. Most of the solution for that rests with how we develop our properties. The summer woodlot has been a big help with that. Fire hydrants and an adequate warning system remain weak links.
Reinvigorate efforts for Wildfire Prevention on the Hillside. The McHugh Creek fire provided lessons.
Reconsider the notification system in case of wildfire
Maintain the high quality we expect when we need it.