Juneau, Alaska (KINY) All Alaska police agencies, including Juneau, are having trouble retaining and recruiting new officers.
Juneau has 11 vacant police officer positions. That has led to cuts in each daily shifts of one officer. They have tried to increase hiring events and training opportunities. They also discussed whether to let officers take home their vehicles to increase visibility.
Fairbanks for example has offered $20,000 cash incentives to hire officers. Juneau currently is ranked sixth among the average salaries of police officers in Alaska.
The Mayor appointed a Public Safety Task Force to recommend ways the CBJ could battle the crime problem. They have been holding twice per month meetings to discuss various issues.
One program discussed to curb crime is video surveillance cameras in high crime areas. It would be a passive system, that is, no one would be assigned to monitor the cameras 24 hours per day. Instead if video were needed of an incident, it could be pulled off the computer.
Juneau District attorney Angie Kemp predicts the cameras would help, "So many of the burglaries we are referred are of homeowners that have video surveillance. It has been tremendously helpful. Burglaries are very difficult to prosecute. The video surveillance has had a big affect on that."
She said it if works for burglaries maybe it impacts other crimes
The district attorneys budget has fallen by 12 percent since 2014 and they have lot prosecutors and staff in Juneau and Sitka.