File photo of Juneau Capital City Fire/Rescue firefighters at work. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

File photo of Juneau Capital City Fire/Rescue firefighters at work. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Local police, firefighters work through the holidays

They’ll celebrate here and there, too.

While many Juneau residents had Christmas off, the officers of the Juneau Police Department and the crews of Capital City Fire/Rescue stood their watch.

Not without some concessions, however.

“There will be a handful of officers and two dispatchers working. When possible, the officers will try to stop by their own homes,” said JPD Public Safety Manager Erann Kalwara in a phone interview earlier this week. “Some people will drop off appetizers, snacks, pies (at the police station). An off-duty officer may drop off a turkey or something.”

The JPD, which operates in shifts, works out their schedules far ahead of time, with officers able to request their schedules with increasing priority based on seniority.

“The officers bid by teams. The low man on the totem pole gets the least choice. Here, it’s strict seniority,” Kalwara said, though there is some flexibility built in for those who need it. “They might trade. The dispatchers do make trades with each other.”

At CCFR, a different tradition reigns.

“The crews have dinners with their families,” Assistant Fire Chief Chad Cameron said Tuesday. “I believe tonight the downtown crew is having a big prime rib. They save money all year and bring their kids and families.”

The two manned fire stations downtown and at the airport each have at least six crew members on duty at any given time. The crews work 24 hours on, 48 hours off, so each crew had a joint Christmas dinner during their three-day cycle.

“We work the holidays so we bring the families as best we can,” Cameron said. “It seems like there’s usually 20 some odd people that come in.”

If you need assistance

JPD and CCFR will both be fully operational during Christmas. If you need to speak to a dispatcher, call (907) 586-0600.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or

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