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Aleknagik home break-in highlights lack of law enforcement in Bristol Bay

was written by Tyler Thompson, KDLG – Dillingham , 2019-10-28 20:14:19

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(Photo credit Apay’u Moore)

Apay’u Moore was woken up around 1:40 a.m. on Oct. 14 by a loud bang outside her house in Aleknagik. She found a man climbing a ladder towards her kitchen window. She banged on the window, shouting at him to leave, and called 911. But when Moore got through to the operator, she was told the Dillingham police department couldn’t dispatch officers to the lake.

“I was given the trooper number, so I called the trooper and those calls at night are dispatched out to a different community,” Moore said. “So he then tried to get ahold of the on-call trooper in Dillingham who was unfortunately out of town, and he was in King Salmon.”

As Moore juggled calls between the troopers and people who lived close by, she stood at the top of her stairs, pointing a gun down the steps. At one point, she heard glass shattering and started yelling again. The burglar had left by the time a neighbor arrived to help. Moore gathered her things and stayed with a friend for the rest of the night. The ordeal lasted for more than an hour. 

Troopers did not arrive until around 8:00 a.m. Moore said they told her that people who lived in Aleknagik had to rely on community members for immediate support during crises, since they were closer than law enforcement officials.

“And that’s a frustrating feeling because we’re raised to call 911,” she said. “I’ve taught my children who are five and seven now, ‘What number do you call when there’s an emergency? 911.’ Now I’m having second thoughts because it’s not as easy to call the troopers. But trying to teach our young kids to call 911 and realizing that’s not a real option? It’s frustrating. There’s a whole systematic failure here.”

Moore is still in contact with state troopers and wants them to investigate the break in. She was out of town for a conference after the break-in occurred, but she says troopers did not gather fingerprints from the scene until Saturday, when she returned home. She said she’s worried about the community’s safety and doesn’t want people to go through more incidents like this one.

“I don’t think there’s a lot of law enforcement and community trust. Often times when it is reported, the response time and even follow up with it afterwards takes so long that people just feel like there’s nothing being done,” she said.

Moore is planning to speak about public safety at the next Aleknagik city council meeting. KDLG reached out to the Alaska State Troopers for comment. Public information officer Megan Peters said the department is looking into the situation.

Contact the author at [email protected] or 907-842-2200

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Traveling To Alaska, the Last Frontier

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Chugach National Forest. Just a third as large as Tongass National Forest, in Southeast Alaska, Chugach is nonetheless the second-largest national forest in the nation and an extraordinary combination of forests, rivers, lakes, mountains and glaciers. About the size of New Hampshire, Chugach incorporates a geographic variety that is truly unique among national forests. The 5,940,000-acre forest is dispersed across three different landscapes, stretching from the Kenai Peninsula east across Prince William Sound to encompass the Gulf Coast encircling the Copper River Delta, then east from there as far as the Bering Glacier. Wildlife is undoubtedly abundant especially for any who make the effort to walk far from the roads and highways. Black and brown bear live in most of the forest, foraging upon open tundra slopes and within intertidal zones. In late summer time, bears may be observed feeding upon spawned-out salmon along streams and rivers. Record-size moose live in the Kenai Peninsula and the Copper River Delta. Dall sheep sometimes appear on Kenai Peninsula mountainsides, mountain goats are found upon steep hillsides along Prince William Sound, the Copper River Delta and from time to time above Portage Valley. Boaters and kayakers on Prince William Sound often see Dall porpoises, harbor seals, sea otters, sea lions, Orcas and humpback whales. More than 214 species of resident and migratory birds inhabit Chugach National Forest. Seabirds, like blacklegged kittiwakes, nest in sea cliff colonies by the thousands. Ptarmigan scurry about alpine tundra, bald eagles perch on coastline snags and Steller’s jays forage around the underbrush. The Copper River Delta protects one of the largest concentrations of nesting trumpeter swans within North America together with the total population of dusky Canada geese. Nesting waterfowl are joined in spring and fall by thousands of migrating shorebirds. Chugach offers a variety of angling options; fishermen may cast for rainbow, lake and cutthroat trout and also Dolly Varden, Arctic grayling and all 5 species of Pacific salmon. Many of the fisheries are simple to reach; roadside lakes and rivers are plentiful providing anglers an opportunity to fish without needing a boat. Chugach’s most famous fishery is the red salmon run of the Russian River in which anglers are often standing elbow-to-elbow along the river bank in July and July. Chugach is one of the few places left in the world where glaciers spill out of the mountains and into the seas. When combined with the Bagley Icefield from which it originates, Bering Glacier is actually larger than Switzerland. Columbia Glacier is one of the biggest tidewater glaciers in the world while Portage Glacier and it’s Begich-Boggs Visitor Center is one of the most widely used places to visit for tourists within Alaska.

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Going To Chugach National Forest in Alaska, the Last Frontier