ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Anchorage police have begun sending
bills to people if officers have to make more than eight trips per year
to their homes.The first homeowner to be billed under a law that allows police to charge people got a tab for $23,000 last week.Police have been called to the home dozens of times since last summer and 10 times so far this year, they said.An
ordinance that took effect in 2002 calls for taxpayers to pay for the
first eight police responses to a home in a year. After that, the
homeowner may be charged $500 per visit, what police estimate it costs
to pay officers and maintain equipment for a single call."We're
trying to tell homeowners that if you're having an excessive amount of
calls to your residence, you need to take responsibility for those
calls," said Anchorage police Sgt. Denny Allen. "We're not encouraging
people not to call the police for valid reasons."Some problem homes are getting 90 or more calls a year, he said.Police
did not begin enforcing the ordinance until last summer. Getting police
to do so was "like changing a battleship in midcourse," said
Assemblyman Allan Tesche, who sponsored the law."The intent was
to give the police an extra tool to be used against crack houses, drug
houses and general public nuisances that are generating an inordinate
number of police calls," Tesche said. "At some point, a city can and
should start charging for overuse of its police department."The
ordinance does not affect businesses and excludes calls for medical
emergencies and domestic violence. False alarms and receipts of false
information do not count against a homeowner unless the reports were
initiated by the owner or an occupant.For rental properties,
the owner is responsible for either controlling the tenants, evicting
them or paying the bill, Tesche said. The police will first send a
letter alerting the owner that fees are pending. The owner then has 30
days to correct the situation and halt the calls. After that, they'll
get the bill.At the Airport Heights home that was billed
$23,000, calls were routinely for drugs, alcohol and disturbances,
Allen said. Neighbors reported cars coming at all hours of night, with
arguments in the yard and drunks urinating in the road.Police
sent the homeowner, Tammy Lynn Miller, 40, a warning notice in August.
The calls for service persisted and on Thursday the city sent her the
bill, Allen said.Miller was arrested last week on charges of theft and forgery.Her
home is now boarded up being seized by the bank, Allen said. If she
can't pay the city's bill, the ordinance calls for liens to be placed
against the home until the city collects."We don't care if you pay it, we're going to get that money somehow," he said.One
other warning letter has been sent so far, Allen said. About a half
dozen other homeowners being eyed as violators may have to clean up
their acts or pay.The intent of the law is that some offenders,
including renters, will get the message that they will be penalized for
their behavior and will get tired of moving or paying the bills, Tesche
said."If you make it hard for people to stay, you're sending a
message that you're going after them," he said. "It's not solving the
problem, but it's helping."
It will never work. There is no way that market forces could ever provide for any type of security like a police force. Oh,,,,wait....
It would be far easier if the police department charged ONLY those people who call, and not those who sort their own problems out themselves. THAT would be a fairer system. But then, that's called the free market.
I think something interesting was that the police charge the people who get called ON. Like, the neighbors call to complain about them and the person starts racking up charges. I think from a market standpoint there are a lot of interesting things about this article.
Already, where I live, if you call the fire department or ambulance, expect a bill. Why not the police?
If emergency services bill people then they shouldn't get tax money. I mean, they shouldn't get tax money anyway, but with this plan they're basically extorting you twice. If this was in a free market (i.e. no taxes) then they still shouldn't be able to charge for services rendered on behalf of others (the neighbors who called). This does bring to mind some very interesting questions, though.
IrishOutlaw: I think something interesting was that the police charge the people who get called ON. Like, the neighbors call to complain about them and the person starts racking up charges. I think from a market standpoint there are a lot of interesting things about this article. Already, where I live, if you call the fire department or ambulance, expect a bill. Why not the police?
Echoes of Brazil. Soon you'll negotiate a mortgage to pay for your own torture.
The fallacies of intellectual communism, a compilation - On the nature of power
Public to Police: Bug Us Too Often, Expect a Bill
Wait, that will never work, but imagine if it were tried? If the entire population just sent a bill for $10 to their local police for "expenses related to securing against wiretaps." Ah, just the thought...