A measure by Anchorage Assembly members Dick Traini and Amy Demboski would remove an exemption from fees for excessive police calls to non-profits such as Bean's Café and the Brother Francis Shelter. The ordinance would impose a $500 fine for every visit after the first 100 made by police or paramedics.
According to Anchorage Police, around 1,500 calls for service have been made by the Brother Francis Shelter already this year. Just under 700 have been made to Bean's Café. Imposing fines on non-profit organizations who struggle to make ends meet did not sit well with Bean's Café executive director Lisa Sauder.
"I don't know which calls the Assembly would like to charge us for making," Sauder said. "If it's for when someone is overdosing on spice, as recently happened and was rolling in Third Avenue across several lanes of traffic? We had one APD cruiser show up after 21 minutes and park on the hill a block away and wait for a second unit to respond because it was too dangerous for one officer who was trained to carry a gun and a taser to respond to someone on the roadway. Meanwhile, our staff, many of them, clients, kept a parameter to keep him safe in the middle of traffic on Third Avenue for 41 minutes until authorities could respond."