Alaska News

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Longer 911 hold times, backlogs, officer delays: When Anchorage hires more cops, but not more support staff

The clerks who manage records and evidence at the Anchorage Police Department say they're increasingly overwhelmed with paperwork as the department has added roughly 100 new police officers in three years without hiring additional support staff. Meanwhile, amid a spike in property crime, Anchorage residents have been inundating police dispatchers with calls. But there have been severe staffing shortfalls in the dispatch department, with about half the seats in a new dispatch center unfilled. That means the public is spending more time on hold when calling 911 or when dialing a non-emergency number to file stolen vehicle reports. Empty dispatch jobs may mean a delay in an officer showing up to a crime.
Anchorage Daily News - Metered Site

Monday, July 16, 2018

Second Valley fire in week stems from suspicious circumstances, Capital City Fire Marshal says

For the second time this week, there was a large fire in the Mendenhall Valley and fire officials aren’t ruling out arson. At just after midnight Friday morning, Capital City Fire/Rescue responded to a fire that began in a storage shed behind a single-wide mobile home at Kodzoff Acres Mobile Home Park, according to a CCFR statement. In the statement, CCFR Fire Marshal Dan Jager said the exact cause of the fire is yet to be determined, but there were reports of suspicious activity in the area prior to fire responders arriving. Jager said multiple neighbors said in interviews that they heard a loud bang, which some described as more of a thud, and then saw a tall man running through several yards near the mobile home in question.
Juneau Empire

Fairbanks rookie firefighter saves 9 lives from tree

Like many things in this ever-changing world, the sight of a firefighter rescuing kitties from trees may seem as obsolete as rotary phones, privacy and good manners. However, the tradition still lives on in some small and friendly communities. Just ask Max Heineken, a 20-year-old Fairbanks Fire Department recruit who performed his first rescue with the department by successfully plucking a stranded cat from a Wilbur Street birch tree Thursday afternoon. Heineken said Steve, a white and orange domestic medium hair, was a “super friendly cat” who seemed grateful to be rescued. “He wasn’t aggressive or anything. He was just kind of walking around, trying to see if he could climb down the ladder or not. He was staying on one branch, and he let me grab him and didn’t fight back. I walked down the ladder and he let my captain hold him for a little while,” Heineken said.
Fairbanks News-Miner - Metered Site

Homer fire department stomps out house fire on Danview

The Homer Volunteer Fire Department and Kachemak Emergency Services responded to a house fire in Homer early Friday morning. The Homer Fire Department was notified of the fire off East Danview Avenue at about 5:23 a.m. According to Homer Fire Chief Terry Kadel, the blaze was likely caused by a citronella candle burning on the front porch of the home. Kadel says there was extensive fire and water damage to the porch and living room of the single-story home. He says most of the home did not sustain damage from the fire or from firefighters’ response, which lasted just over two hours.
KBBI-AM 890 Homer Alaska

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