30 November 2016

A Really Bad Idea Emphasizes Need for Preparedness

The director of the Alaska State Troopers, James Cockrell, says Anchorage should take responsibility for policing its own boundaries, which run from south of Portage to north of Eklutna. But Anchorage city attorney Bill Falsey says local law won't allow that.
Traffic was light as motorists traveled along the Seward Highway south off McHugh Creek on Tuesday. (Bill Roth / Alaska Dispatch News)
Troopers have historically patrolled the Seward Highway south of McHugh Creek and up to the entrance of Turnagain Pass, working overtime when they've had to. That's set to go away in early 2017, as budget cuts have pushed the troopers to a "breaking point," Cockrell said Tuesday.
Three Bureau of Highway Patrol officers from the Troopers will still be assigned to the Seward Highway. Their goal will be about 10 hours of patrolling per day, Cockrell said Tuesday.
But when the Highway Patrol punches off shift, there will no longer be an on-call highway cop to respond to crashes, Cockrell said.
It's a really, really bad idea.
There's only one highway that leads into and out of Anchorage. One. It runs north and south at this point. What the dueling police agencies are now telling residents, vacationers, tourists, and fishermen is that when there's an accident, they'll just shut the highway down. You can camp in your car! It'll be fun! Yay!
Things are no better in the City of Anchorage itself. Police have all but stopped responding to routine calls, and - by their own admission - some 911 calls go unanswered. It's a battle over the budget, staffing levels, and attrition.
The losers, of course, are the public.
It comes down to what we've all been saying for some time: you really are on your own, so you'd best be prepared for emergencies. You'll need blankets, any required medications, food, and water in your vehicle.
And yes, Virginia, that includes having and knowing how to use a firearm.


PeteForester1 said...

They're doing the same thing where I live. It's an extortion plot to raise taxes in our case; give us the money, or you're on your own when the bad guys show up. People would actually go for the tax increase if they didn't see the city council lining its pockets with past tax increases.

You're right; be prepared. We're all pretty much on our own now...

Rev. Paul said...

You're correct, Pete. Anchorage residents see much the same thing, here.

Rob said...

Here in South Alaska aka MN..:) The state patrols the I-highways, state mark MN highways, and the US highways. The county will too, as any city police, but if there is an accident State writes the report. I saw the aftermath of one on US 12, Wright County came took care of any injuries, but they had to wait for state to take the report. The nearest officer was in St. Cloud about an hr away. Traffic was slow through the area for several hrs. I do think some towns should just disband there local LEO's and let the county sheriff patrol. Cost savings ??

It will take several big accidents with folks getting killed for it to change in your area.

Rev. Paul said...

"It will take several big accidents with folks getting killed for it to change in your area."

Unfortunately, that ship's already sailed. Didn't change a thing. Bottom line is, whichever agency winds up being tapped for the locality wants that town to raise taxes to pay for it. The residents keep voting against new taxes. Impasse.

LindaG said...

That is scary, and sad.

You all be safe and God bless us all.

Rev. Paul said...

Thank you, Linda. We don't go that way often, at least not in wintertime, but one never knows.

Sandy said...


Our State Police have to limit the amount of miles they drive to 100 per day, and have to cut corners to prevent lay offs. This new procedure change starts tomorrow in this state.

Rev. Paul said...

100 miles/day? That's completely unworkable. Unbelievable.