Questions Posted to "Ask a Dispatcher"
Q. I moved to Juneau 10 years ago. Switzer village was a beautiful & safe neighborhood. I have been raising my 3 children ages 20 thru 8. 10 years ago it was a beautiful & safe neighborhood.
Now it is run down, filthy, unsafe, and Scott St. Is Drug Ave. there is non-stop cars parking, waiting, & what appears to me openly drug dealing.
I don't feel safe for my youngest child. I make her come home before dark. And I keep her off Drug street. I would love to sell my trailer. But the property prices have dropped so low my home is worthless
Can JPD have a bigger presence there? Maybe install surveillance cameras?
Maybe the borough can help clean it up & light it better.
Thank you for your service
Dear Juneau Resident,
Your questions inspired some trips down memory lane for officers here nearing retirement. We discussed the active neighborhood watch Switzer Village used to have and how it gained real momentum after two drive by shootings 1996ish. The residents got fed up and had their own patrols on foot with flashlights and driving around. There were lots of volunteers and JPD assigned an officer to be the contact person between the watch group and JPD. That neighborhood watch faded away and I think you are seeing the impacts.
It would be great if you could restart the neighborhood watch and work with JPD so that residents can take back the neighborhood if others feel as you do. Maybe a good starting point is National Night Out, which is the second Tuesday evening in August. JPD has been organizing the event every year since 2008 and Switzer Village has never had a gathering. National Night Out is a visible way for residents of every neighborhood to get to know each other, commit to looking out for each other, and show criminals that the 'good guys' aren't afraid to take over the streets, even after dark. Ok, sometimes the mosquitos do take over after 9 p.m. but even the good guys are only human!
Switzer Village is private property so any clean up, added lighting, or cameras is between the residents and the park management. Private land owners can put up all the cameras they want and can afford while the police putting cameras in public areas tends to generate a lot of push back.
If you call in specific problem areas to 586-0600 JPD can provide extra patrol. You can also give tips, even anonymously to the drug unit. If you do want to be anonymous you should use the Crimeline link on the JPD website, juneaupolice.com.
This could be an exciting time. It takes the whole community to police effectively but it only takes one determined person to start a movement.