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Q. Is it normal procedure for a police vehicle heading to an emergency with lights flashing,and no sirens to be driving down Loop Road on what I and others belive to be the emergency lane?
this happened yesterday around 5PM during rush hour traffic, woulndn't it have been more practical to let the drivers move to the right as is the law? I'm sure this created a lot of confusion for the rush hour commuters.

Dear Juneau Resident,

The situation you observed happened when three patrol officers, most of the on-duty shift, responded to a domestic violence call where the woman had taken refuge in a car and reported from her cell phone that the male was throwing things at the car and she was afraid he was trying to break the window.

The officers were responding as quickly as reasonable for obvious reasons when they found rush hour traffic slowed on Loop Road and motorists having little ability to pull over and get out of their way. One officer was able to use an empty turn lane to get around a section, another officer saw the on-coming lane was empty and used that lane. The third officer, the one you saw, used a section of the emergency lane to get around some cars, but did not stay in that lane longer than necessary to keep moving toward the call. While what you saw was not standard practice, the totality of the circumstances made it appropriate. Officers are responsible for any jeopardy they create and there were no incidents or near misses reported from this response. The officers did arrive in time. The woman was not hurt after her 911 call. The officer you saw driving, along with the other two who responded 'code', ended up in a foot pursuit with the suspect. They caught the man, arrested him, and took him to jail.

Thank you for asking about this situation. Obviously you understand that what you saw was a small slice of an entire situation and there must be more to the story. JPD is happy to fill in what details we are allowed to share when there are questions.


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