Homicides, property crime and car thefts — Anchorage is breaking records police aren’t proud of.
They’ve been looking into the problem and say much of the crime around town appears to be fueled by an increase in drug abuse.
It’s something several Mountain View residents told KTVA they see all the time, and part of the reason the Anchorage Police Department (APD) is targeting their neighborhood with it’s new three step action plan.
“I would say the types of crimes have changed a lot over the years,” longtime Mountain View resident Tasha Hotch said. “I do hear a fair amount of gunshots sometimes and I know people who have lived in buildings that have gotten shot up, and that really scares me,”
Horch says she’s learned to love her neighborhood, despite its bad reputation.
APD’s says it’s action plan is designed to help.
Step one is to refocus the department’s CAP and vice teams on the city’s drug problem. CAP is going to work on street level distribution. Vice is going to work on long term drug investigations.
Step two is to redeploy. The department used crime statistics to figure out where most of the “shots fired” calls come from and will increase patrols in those areas.
Step three is the big one — police are expanding foot patrols to three neighborhoods: Spenard, Fairview and Mountain View.
“Our three point plan is going to allow us to refocus some of our efforts to address the drug problem in the city and we hope by doing that we’ll see a reduction in property crime,” APD deputy chief Kenneth McCoy said.
Hotch believes APD’s plan will make a difference in her neighborhood, but others are more skeptical.
Glen Ellis manages the Shell station on Mountain View Drive.
“The drug situation has got worse,” Ellis said. “If they are going to do foot patrols, if they do it during the day that’s not going to stop much. Everything around here happens at night,”
Police say they are dedicated to making Anchorage a safer place to live. Residents in this neighborhood simply hope they follow through on that promise.
“We want them to have positive non-enforcement contacts with our officers. We are hoping by getting the officers out in the community, having those positive interactions, that the public is going to feel good about what we are doing. We are going to feel good about it and then hopefully we’ll see a reduction in crime,” said McCoy.
Police say they have already started implementing the three step plan and that you’ll start seeing foot patrols in the targeted areas immediately, including at night.