'We don't call the police:' A sign of the times in Anchorage crime
A few signs are generating a lot of debate about neighborhood crime in Anchorage, and what to do about it. A lot of KTVA viewers have spoken out about the signs in a neighborhood near Lake Otis Parkway and O'Malley Road in South Anchorage.
The signs read: "This is a crime shoot community. We don't call the police."
Viewers sounded off on the KTVA Facebook page.
"Where can I get signs like that for our neighborhood?" one person asked.
"I don't support the sign. It is, however, so sad we feel so unsafe..." said another Facebook poster.
KTVA asked around to find out the intended meaning of the signs.
"(It was) kind of a tongue-and-cheek thing to start with," said Greg Svendsen, the vice president of the Sky Harbor Estates Association.
Svendsen said an association member put up the signs about 10 years ago, which were meant to be light-hearted. Svendsen says the signs were taken down and then put back up about three years ago.
"I think it was a joke to start with, but then the way things have kind of gone around here in the last few years, I think it's more than a joke," Svendsen said. "Not to say that someone's going to shoot you. But obviously, if someone is going to try to get into someone's house you're going to be looking for trouble."
Anchorage police have responded to the signs as well. Officials say it's homeowners' choice and legal right to put them up. That said, police say the best way to deter crime is to be part of a neighborhood watch, where neighbors are watching out for each other and calling police when they see suspicious activity where they live.
"So when something is out of place on your street, when an unusual vehicle or suspicious vehicle comes on your street, you're like, 'Hey, I've never seen that car at that person's house. I'm going to sit and watch it just a little bit longer and see what they're up to,'" said APD Officer Natasha Welch.
Welch sets up watch programs in Anchorage neighborhoods, which she says is easy to do. Those interested can all APD's Neighborhood Watch Program at 907-786-8585.
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