My journey with the effects of crime began in November 2016 when our Juneau car was stolen and spray painted red. The response from the Juneau Police Department was stunning. They referred to the disastrous law known as Senate Bill 91. The police encountered the stolen car three times in the two weeks it was stolen without notifying us. The thieves were even identified by security cameras. The car was full of stolen goods, including a baseball bat, crow bar and knives. Used syringes littered the floor. The District Attorney refused the case.
In the spring of 2017, our mini-van was hit when it was parked. Nobody bothered to report the accident or had the courtesy to leave a note. At a repair cost of $2,000, this was no small fender bump. Again, nothing was done by the local authorities.
While we were out of town in February 2018, our Dyea truck was stolen by a known felon. That person admitted to taking the truck and did not report his accident. The rear right tailgate was crushed, the rear axle was bent, the front airbags were deployed and the seatbelts remained locked up tight. It was a major crash with an $8,500 repair invoice. When we tried to file a police report ourselves, no action was taken. During the same time, the same perpetrator grabbed our keys, broke into and damaged two of our properties. The police department here opted not to get involved because we could identify the perpetrator. How can that be?
Alaska as a safe place to live, work and play now seems to be in the rear view mirror. In January 2018, Alaska was deemed one of the most dangerous places to live and had the highest rate of violent crime. Tell me, how did this happen? Criminals rule in the streets and in our homes. My experience with this crime spree is not alone but what has happened to me is telling about what has happened to the Alaska I love. I plead with voters to help turn this situation around by voting in a new governor who will be tough on crime. I am voting for Mike Dunleavy.
What has happened to make such a drastic change in our beloved state?
One answer is that SB 91 was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Bill Walker. A criminal can be booked and head right out of a cell on the very same day. While the law was well intentioned, it opened the floodgates to criminals who have very little to lose. The police and state prosecuters have no state law to punish or lock up criminals in a meaningful way. Since the police and prosecutors currently have little power, it is up to the new governor to show the way to a safer Alaska. We can turn this around.
Alaska is a very scary place today, ranking as one of the most dangerous states in the nation! However, I am not ready to give up. Call me a tough Alaskan, but I’m staying put. Instead, I and other Alaskans have a way we can fight back against crime this fall. Select a governor who will stand up for you! I am voting for the one candidate who is strong against crime and who will turn the balance of power toward law-abiding citizens. Vote for someone who has concern for our safety will ensure that justice is done and that criminals won’t receive a “Get Away Free” pass. Vote for someone who will promote policies that will make sure the police and prosecutors have the legal tools they need. The Alaska I know and love need not be viewed in the rearview mirror. Instead, I encourage you to vote in November for Dunleavy — a candidate who is strong against crime and endorsed by the NRA, the Alaska Public Safety Employee Association as well as Joe Masters, former commissioner of Department of Public Safety. We can fix this broken Alaska and look forward to a bright and safe future with your help. Vote.
• Kathy Hosford is a lifelong Alaskan and owner of the Chilkoot Trail Outpost in Dyea.
• Kathy Hosford is a lifelong Alaskan and owner of the Chilkoot Trail Outpost in Dyea. My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.