Mayor Ethan Berkowitz used his annual state of the city address to talk about public safety, homelessness and the positive changes he says are happening under his watch.


The theme of his address was, “Anchorage: A City on the Move.” While the mayor listed many accomplishments, he also talked about areas he said need attention.


First was public safety. He said it is his goal to reach a total of 400 Anchorage police officers during his administration, which may become reality by the end of the year.


He also announced a series of initiatives in the works to halt human trafficking.


“It’s a form of slavery and we’ve been able to work with the state and with the federal government to begin a series of initiatives that can reduce the incidents in this community,” Berkowitz said.


Next, Berkowitz spoke on homelessness and said a quarter of the chronic homeless in Anchorage have already been placed into housing.


The mayor’s final point was the need to increase and diversify development opportunities. He said Anchorage must chart its own course and not depend on the state.


“The growth that we have moving forward, our ability to hold people here, our ability to make sure people live, work and play in Anchorage depends on the quality of jobs here and the opportunities that individuals have,” he said. “This administration is open and ready for business.”


Berkowitz also said that Anchorage is running on a balanced budget. He said his administration has been working on innovative ways to save money, like installing energy efficient light bulbs wherever possible.


KTVA 11’s Shannon Ballard can be reached via email or on Facebook and Twitter.