City and Borough of Juneau
155 S. Seward Street
Juneau, Alaska 99801
tel. 907-586-5240
fax 907-586-5385

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Juneau Police Department

Questions Posted to "Ask a Dispatcher"

Q. I see people throwing cigarette butts out of their cars all of the time. Is it worth it to call the non-emergency line and report the license plate number?

Dear Juneau Resident,

I know you are trying to ask a simple question but you have hit on the kind of issue that is actually one of the toughest for police departments. Issues like littering and noise complaints are quality of life concerns and usually bother people who don't ask for much from their police departments. They are far different than those citizens who rely on the police department to respond to substance abuse issues, violence issues, theft issues...sometimes all in the same night.

'Quality of life' callers are generally low frequency callers who pay their taxes (which includes paying for police) and want very little from us. Just a police response for a violation that reduces the quality of living in Juneau. These are the same people that are justified in getting tired of hearing that the police department has to go to these other pressing issues and can't find the resources for the troublesome things in the community.

What JPD can do is once you call in what happened, we prioritize the call with everything else going on at the same time. Then we respond as we can. A citation would take you identifying the car and the person doing the littering and then the officer would have to confirm the ID and serve the person. It would be a lot of running around for a violation but JPD understands that for the vast majority of the law-abiding community, quality of life issues are very important and we want to help address those issues.


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