I have heard from many community members about public safety concerns in their neighborhoods. There has been an increase in crime in Anchorage which the Anchorage Police Department is responding to with three new training academies this year to get new recruits out on to the street.
In the meantime, I want to share some resources you can use to take action in your own neighborhood.
Anchorage Crime Stoppers (561-7867) is an anonymous tip line that helps citizens give the police department a leg up in the fight against crime. If you leave a tip that leads to a felony arrest, you may be eligible for a rewards of up to $1000. If you think you may have witnessed a crime or believe that there may be criminal activity in your neighborhood call Crime Stoppers to ensure APD has this information.
The Community Action Policing Team, headed by Lt. Jack Carson (786-8899) is the group to speak with if you have concerns about any homeless camps throughout town. They are in charge of distributing notices to those who may be using the camp and advising them that they are being evicted. The CAP team also assists with breaking down the illegal campsites.
File a Police Report & Build a Case
I have heard about a few problem houses in a couple of neighborhoods in our area of East Anchorage. Here is what I learned after speaking with the Anchorage Police Department:
1. Keep an eye out for suspicious activity and when in doubt call the APD non-emergency line at 786-8900. If it is an emergency situation call 911.
2. Work with the APD to build a case file on a particular problem area. Keep track of suspicious persons and vehicles. The best way to do this is through the Crime Stoppers website—the information goes straight to detectives. Make sure to keep yourself safe while observing the situation.
3. It may take a number of tips to help crack a case open—keep at it!
Neighborhood Watch is a citizen involvement effort designed to assist citizens and the police in reducing crime and increasing an overall sense of peace, safety and security in the neighborhood. The program helps neighbors coordinate with each other in order to achieve better safety outcomes throughout the area. For more information go here.
Recently, Alaska Dispatch News columnist Jill Burke discussed the impact that local community patrols have on our neighborhoods. Our local community patrols in Nunaka Valley and College Gate serve as extra eyes on any potential trouble in East Anchorage.
For more information, or to get involved yourself check out the Anchorage Coalition of Community Patrols.
Speeding in neighborhoods
Drivers going way too fast on neighborhood streets are major concerns. One possible remedy for such behavior is installing traffic calming devices. These devices (such as speed humps) help to slow down traffic and keep our streets safe. The Municipality of Anchorage Traffic department usually works with community councils to determine the best areas to implement calming solutions. Attend your local community council if you think that your street or neighborhood needs traffic calming measures.
For more information on the Traffic Department’s process check out their site here.
This program from the APD encourages greater community understanding of the role that police officers and the department play in the functioning of our city. It is a 13 week long course comprised of one evening session per week, and one longer Saturday session. Participants cover topics such as cyber crime, emergency preparedness, and patrol procedures.
The fall 2016 citizen academy cohort has been filled. However, there will be more opportunities next year.
Upcoming Coffee with Ivy
I hope to see you at our upcoming Second Saturday Coffee with Ivy at Waffle Rush on Saturday, September 10th, 10am-11am at Waffle Rush (6307 Debarr Rd). We had our first one on August 8th and had great discussions about education, public safety and our fiscal crisis. Come on by, the coffee is on us!
As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns--I am here to work for you!