Questions Posted to "Ask a Dispatcher"
Q. I would like to make a response to the comments about the cars in the mendenhall parking lot "passing drugs". I, as well as the others who sit there, are not passing drugs nor are we passing money for drugs. I question what people would rather have us teenagers doing, partying or hanging out keeping eachother out of trouble? Most of the time, if we are parked next to eachother and "passing" something in between, it's usually a cd or a cigarette. Thank you very much for your time.
Dear Juneau Resident,
I am very glad you wrote in. The after hours activity at Mendenhall Mall had been commented on extensively and that can lead to an assumption that everyone there is engaged in illegal activity, which certainly is unlikely. The people who are regularly in the parking lot are probably the best people to assess when someone is ruining it for everyone by doing something illegal...from spinning 'brodies', to blasting music with lyrics many don't want to hear, to drug transactions. Your attitude toward those people and willingness to report bad behavior can protect the area from community members wanting more and more efforts to close the area after dark.
Everyone reading this who is not a teenager was a teenager at some point and did hang out somewhere with friends, trading music and gossip. When gas was cheap 'Cruising' was the activity of choice in many communities with 'turn arounds' at each end where people would chat and hang out, just like what happens at the Mendenhall Mall. Juneau roads don't really lend themselves to that activity and the carbon footprint is certainly not appropriate anymore. There is nothing wrong with teenagers socializing out of car windows...it's been going on for generations.