User-Pay for Excess Policing – Way to Go, Anchorage!

The Anchorage city police have had enough of people being bad neighbours, and have started billing them for their ignorance. Some problem homes in Anchorage are getting 90 or more calls by police a year, according to Anchorage police Sgt. Denny Allen. After the 8th callout in a year, the homeowner will now be billed $500 per visit. Though the law has been on the books for almost 6 years, the first homeowner to be charged was just given a bill for $23,000 for dozens of calls about drugs, alcohol and disturbances in the past few months. Note that it’s the home owner that gets the bill – Assemblyman Allan Tesche, who sponsored the law, says that the owner of a rental property is responsible for either controlling the tenants, evicting them or paying the bill.

I think this is a great idea, though I would have made the allowable callouts far lower than 8 per year, since calls for medical emergencies and domestic violence aren’t included. I think 2 calls per year is 1 too many. The odds of the RCMP instituting such a policy are zero (and policing in the Yukon is entirely RCMP), but for city police it should be a fairly easy policy to institute. In the Yukon, we have Safer Communities and Neighborhoods legislation (SCAN) that is having some effect on drug houses in Whitehorse in particular, and the city of Whitehorse is developing legislation that to some degree piggy-backs on SCAN and puts more pressure on bad landlords. The smaller Yukon communities, however, have pretty much been left out of the process, since SCAN won’t investigate homes on First Nation land.

The Anchorage part of this story is from today’s Anchorage Daily News.


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