Police expand patrols for holiday weekend

The Juneau Police Department plans to increase its presence across town this weekend in anticipation of Memorial Day and graduation festivities.

The Monday holiday is preceded by ceremonies for three graduating senior classes from Juneau-Douglas High School, Thunder Mountain High School and Yaakoosgé Daakahídi Alternative High School on Sunday.

JPD Lt. Kris Sell said in a press release that the department will have additional police officers and equipment — including unmarked patrol vehicles and the Mobile Incident Command Center vehicle — to handle the increased calls about alcohol and drug activities.

The Mobile Incident Command Center will be parked and staffed by an officer at Eagle Beach, acting as headquarters for officers patrolling in that area out the road, Sell said.

This weekend marks the first use of JPD’s new unmarked patrol vehicle — black Ford Interceptors with blue and red lights inside, maintaining the outline of civilian vehicles.

Members of the Juneau Citizen’s Patrol will also help JPD this weekend, with volunteers driving around and alerting police of spots that need to be checked for minor consuming parties. They will also observe and document suspicious driving.

Juneau’s Crime Line group is also helping JPD this weekend, doubling the amount it will offer tipsters with information about drivers under the influence. Tips that lead to an arrest can earn a caller $200. Tipsters should call JPD’s mainline, 586-0600, and unlike non-emergency tips submitted to the group’s website, these calls are not anonymous.

To help curb underage drinking and parties, the annual alcohol- and drug- free Safe Graduation party will be held for graduating seniors from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Centennial Hall. The party — which features games, snacks and prizes — is hosted by a group of volunteers called the Parents For A Safe Graduation Committee. More information about the event can be found online at http://juneausafegrad.weebly.com/.

• Contact reporter Paula Ann Solis at 523-2272 or paula.solis@juneauempire.com.

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