The number of personnel at the Anchorage Police Department has already been greatly reduced by attrition. Detective units have been gutted to keep up patrol numbers. Officers do not have time to follow up cases between dispatches.
Many laid-off employees will not return. We risk long-term damage to the APD that will have real costs in lives, property values and lost business.
Anchorage has well below the West Coast average of officers per capita. Unlike Outside agencies, we do not have neighboring city departments, county sheriffs, etc., for mutual aid in major incidents or natural disasters.
The mayor's recent statement, "It's not a matter of how many officers you have, it's how you deploy those officers," is both incorrect and troubling. Under-manning can lead to tragic incidents like the recent serious assault of a recruit corrections officer at the Anchorage jail.
Bashing public employees may be good politics in some circles but it is bad management.
-- Robert Glen
retired APD sergeant