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

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Questions Posted to "Ask a Dispatcher"

Q. I couldn't help but notice this line in the disclaimer for the Ask a Dispatcher page: "Ask A Dispatcher does not give legal advice, tax advice, or cooking advice." Legal advice I can see, tax advice? Maybe. But *cooking* advice? Please tell me there is a crazy story behind that one being in there.

Dear Juneau Resident,

That part of the disclaimer was a little bit of literary styling to set a casual, even humorous tone for the program.

However, you would not believe the 911 calls that come into JPD and police departments across the country. One woman called a 911 center down south to talk her through a turkey roasting ‘emergency’. She gave the cooking temperature and weight of the turkey and wanted to know when to remove the turkey from the oven. I guess if the woman’s in-laws were coming over for their first holiday at her house it would probably would feel like an emergency. Still, Butterball has a very nice hotline set up for just this sort of thing.

Here at JPD we have had 911 calls from people complaining that the employees at a restaurant put the wrong food into their take out bags. Unless the offending, unordered french fry has jumped into the caller’s throat and is now choking them, that call is really not appropriate for 911. The caller was referred to the business manager.

In general, Juneau residents are very high functioning and know the proper use of 911. There are always a few exceptions but they are pretty rare. While ‘Ask A Dispatcher’ is meant to be a conversation between JPD dispatch and the public about issues not rising to 911 level, we still would opt to stay out of issues like completeness of take out food order or turkey cooking estimates. After all the turkey issue is so easy, an hour per pound at 350 degrees, right?


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