Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll announced a new crime suppression initiative today during a press conference at 11:30 am.
The new initiative will involve some restructuring of the police force with an emphasis on a unit that will work on violent crime suppression and more night patrol shifts as part of the package.
Before taking over as chief in June, Doll served as the head of the Crime Suppression Division.
Mayor Ethan Berkowitz campaigned for mayor by emphasizing public safety, but crime has spiked under his administration.
Reports of car thefts and home break-ins are now routine and crime in Anchorage has hit a critical point, residents say. One middle-aged Anchorage woman testifying last week at an Assembly work session remarked that she never goes out unarmed anymore because Anchorage isn’t the same city it was when she moved here.
During an April press conference, when he was being named chief, Doll said, “With another academy graduating in June, the department’s really poised to start doing great things. We’re looking forward to that: implementing innovative police strategies and really reaching out to the community, things like foot patrols and officers on bicycles.”
At midday, the Anchorage Police Department issued details of its crime suppression strategy, which will be fully implemented in mid-October:
- The VICE team will move from the Detective Division, to the Crime Suppression Division. This moves CAP and VICE under one chain of command for drug investigations. Simplifying this structure means the units will work more closely together and be more effective.
- An APD detective assigned as liaison with the Alaska Information Analysis Center (AKIAC) will move to the Crime Suppression Division as a dedicated Task Force Officer. This detective will be housed with the APD crime analysis unit to add a layer of intelligence to data being explored. This intelligence sharing with our law enforcement partners will help APD determine trends, hot spots, and better connect suspects to crime. A detective will also be added to both the Homicide Unit and Robbery/Assault unit to assist with violent crime investigations.
- Finally, an Investigative Support Unit (ISU) is being created to assist detectives and patrol. This unit will consist of eight officers and a sergeant who are not tied to calls for service. This enables them to assist detectives serve search warrants, run surveillance, find witnesses, conduct long term investigations, provide targeted high intensity patrol enforcement, or react to major incidents.
“As we finally feel the impact of increased staffing, we assessed how to strategically deploy our resources to have the most impact on crime and take violent offenders off the street,” said Chieff Doll. “Our goal is to more proactively address crime, rather than simply react to it.”