City and Borough of Juneau
155 S. Seward Street
Juneau, Alaska 99801
tel. 907-586-5240
fax 907-586-5385
http://www.juneau.org

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Q. What can I do if the people that live across the street from me swear and yell at my kids when a ball accidentally goes into their yard?


Dear Juneau Resident,

Hmm, that is a pickle. A big sour dill pickle. There is no law against swearing or just being a jerk in general. The jails would be bulging at the seams even more than they are if there was such a law!

Technically, you and your family should not put anything onto someone else's property. Still, accidents happen and certainly no reasonable person would accuse you of criminal trespass.

I am going to ask you to think about being the better person in this scenario and to reach out to those neighbors so they see you and your family as real people and that the Golden Rule should be applied. It might sound funny to bring up the Golden Rule but even in ethics training last week at JPD, officers were discussing the Golden Rule. It is really the secular, bottom line ethics standard most of us are taught as children and it can serve us even when we are working as police officers arresting someone. We try to emphasize here at JPD the thought of, "What if this person being interviewed or arrested was me or a member of my family?" If there is anyone who doesn't know, the Golden Rule is to treat others as you would like to be treated. Wow, was than an aside! Please forgive me.

The perfect opportunity to encourage these neighbors to apply the Golden Rule to you is Juneau's third National Night Out. It is on August 3rd this year. You can register on the JPD website as a block captain and invite your neighbors out for a street party. Maybe you can get these neighbors to come interact with you and the other neighbors. Usually people are on their best behavior when they are making a first impression on a large group of neighbors. You also aren't inviting them into your home. The parties are meant to be on neutral territory, like on a blocked off street. Once you introduce yourself, smile, and shake hands it will become a lot harder for them to justify how they are acting.

If this tactic fails, you can rest assured that you did what was reasonable to support a family-friendly neighborhood. Then the whole situation becomes a life lesson for your children that sometimes adults act badly for reasons that are not clear.



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