ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Though overall crime numbers aren't being released for 2017 just yet as the year hasn't wrapped up and law enforcement agencies must comb through tons of data before making it public, the Anchorage Police Dept. has released some preliminary arrest and call for service numbers.
While community relations remain a work in progress, and the Anchorage Police Dept. has gone through many changes this year, with a new chief in place there's another focus as well: Be more proactive than reactive.
In response to a question about emergency response times - during an interview with Channel 2's Rebecca Palsha back in October - APD Chief Justin Doll said the department is striving to work smarter and more efficiently, while also raising staff numbers.
"APD responds to 100 percent of the calls for service that we get," he said. "There are times where if there's a property crime, we understand that's very important to the person that's calling. However, if the police department is busy with violent crimes or other crimes that are occupying the patrol division, it can take the patrol division a lot time to respond."
So, to what kinds of calls has the department been responding? And where did those calls originate?
APD didn't provide information for every month, but June - traditionally a busy month - and November were included:
This past June, there were 927 arrests compared to 839 last June. Assembly District 4, Midtown, had the highest number of calls overall with 164 of them reports of violent crimes.
Fast forward to November, and there were 735 arrests compared to 740 last November. Midtown was again the source of the largest volume of calls, but Assembly District 1, Downtown, had the most for violent incidents. One hundred and seventy-five calls reporting violent crimes were placed from District 1 through November 24.
Overall, only 2 percent of calls to APD from Nov. 1 through 24 were for violent crime, and another 2 percent were for reports of weapons.
The Uniform Crime Report is what really sheds light on crimes across the state: The data set comprises information from all the law enforcement agencies in Alaska, including APD. That report, however, generally isn't released until the fall.
As for APD, suppressing crime remains a priority. That will be helped by 18 Academy graduates who put the APD force at more than 400 officers at the end of November.