There are eight Anchorage police substations around the city and one in Eagle River -- but none of them are staffed full time, according to APD.

Anchorage Assembly member Chris Constant says he's often asked why.

"They're really an important asset for the force," Constant said. "But they aren't what most people think about; that they're a local neighborhood police department. In fact, the best use of our Anchorage police staff is to have them out in the street fighting crime; ensuring that our streets are safe."

Former Anchorage Mayor Rick Mystrom. whose administration worked to get 12 substations set up from 1994 to 2000, says the substations were not meant to be staffed.

"Largely the big thing we wanted to do was establish a police presence in all the different neighborhoods: Mountain View, Spenard, Fairview, a lot of different neighborhoods around town. Muldoon," he said.

Mystrom believes the substations were helpful in bringing down crime.

Anchorage police says the substations are not meant for public use.

APD spokesperson Renee Oistad says the buildings are a place for an officer to use a restroom, or have access to a desktop computer and printer. She also says further construction would be needed to set up the substations for staff.

Oistad says the substation in Eagle River was staffed with a clerk at one point, but isn't any more because of staffing issues.

People can conduct public business at APD headquarters at 4501 Elmore Rd. from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, with the exception of municipal holidays. For assistance by phone, people should dial 311 for non-emergency help or 911 for emergency calls.

APD also plans to have a counter open to help the public soon at its expanded police headquarters in Downtown Anchorage.

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