Anchorage's police chief and several other prominent law enforcement officials engaged with the community Friday about why crime is happening in Alaska’s largest city and how they can help.

APD Chief Justin Doll as well as Alaska’s U.S. attorney, Bryan Schroder, and a district court judge at the Greater Friendly Temple Church on DeBarr Road. They were among those who came together Friday night with former gang members and drug dealers to address local crime issues.

"The kind of problems that Anchorage is experiencing, I will tell you straight-up, we can't solve all by ourselves,” Doll said. “The police department can't solve it in a vacuum, just us alone; we need your help."

The message was clear: Don't live in fear, speak up, protect yourself and fellow community members if you know something is wrong.

Topics Friday varied from Senate Bill 91 to Alaska's opioid crisis, offering residents an opportunity to ask questions, express concerns and develop a plan.

Evangelist Cheryl Jones, the president of Urban Initiatives, organized the event as part of a nationwide effort to rid communities of crime through Church of God in Christ, Inc.

"I want us to get Involved – go out and invade the territory, and invade the territory and be safe,” Jones said. “That is our objective."

"The opioid problem is not something we can enforce our way out of,” Doll said. “That’s just not a solution."

"What we should be looking at is, if someone is arrested for something are they likely to fail to appear?" said District Court Judge J. Patrick Hanley.

Police and citizens alike said they believed crime prevention is rooted in a healthy partnership that puts eyes on the streets.

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