Investigation: Stairs To Nowhere
There is a big problem in one Anchorage neighborhood that is attracting crime and spreading police resources thin.
"Graffiti is a marker for gang problems," explains Selkregg. "If you don't take control of the neighborhood, if you don't take back the neighborhood for the community, it opens the door for one gang to overtake another gang in terms of tagging a neighborhood with their sign."
Assembly member Selkregg says the problems are only going to get worse with the recent municipal budget cuts.
"The boys and girls club lost their funding and that's an after school program. The crime spikes after school," she says. "So you save it on one place and crime spikes in another."
But mayor Dan Sullivan says despite cuts, his administration is focused on reducing crime on the streets of Anchorage.
"We're going to maintain public safety," says Mayor Sullivan. "Are there little pockets like this? Of course there are. Any city our size has always got incidents."
Mayor Sullivan says the Airport Heights stairs are just another example of why Anchorage needs to do something about chronic problem inebriates.
"Same thing with our parks. We've got parks that are being kind of co-opted by certain elements of society," says Sullivan. "Do we close our parks down? No we focus on the people that are doing the bad things, not folks doing the good things."
As for residents in Airport Heights who live along side the stairs, they just want the crime to stop.
"When you deal with situations like this, you are contributing to the reduction of crime," says Olmstead. "And when you contribute to the reduction of crime, you save money. If you deal with an issue, you wont have to pay for police response time later on."
Assembly member Grey-Jackson says the efforts to take down the stairs have been tabled until next year.