APD asks community where officers should spend their time
Anchorage will soon have new police officers on the streets and for some people, they couldn’t come soon enough. Back-to-back academies, including a graduation on Thursday, are pushing the numbers up.
APD spokeswoman Jennifer Castro said there are 40 more officers on the street then there were in January of 2015. She said by next fall Anchorage residents should see the effects of staffing levels at 400 officers, a staffing level the city hasn’t seen since 2009.
The department is reaching out to residents to ask where the officers are needed most. Recently, they sent out a survey to community councils and got more than 2,000 responses. Capt. Justin Doll listed the top three responses.
More bike patrols in parks and trails, more patrols in neighborhoods after dark and more traffic enforcement in local neighborhoods. Doll said the last response took him by surprise.
“When I think of traffic law enforcement it’s on busy streets and some place where there’s high speeds,” said Doll. “So, hearing that there’s a concern for traffic enforcement inside neighborhoods is interesting to me and something we can definitely address.”
Police say some of the goals they can get to relatively quickly, but others, like adding foot and bike patrols on trails, will take more time.
In the end, Doll said, they want to be responsive to the community but they also want to be accountable. The plan is to go before community councils and talk about results.
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