Homer Police Handling More Calls Involving Intoxicated People
Homer Police Chief Mark Robl says the department has been responding to more calls involving intoxicated people this summer.
“We’ve had over 56 calls now on just inebriated people – people drive by they see someone passed out on the park bench laying on the grass, stumbling, staggering, hard to walk, they’re going in and out of traffic and falling off the sidewalks, those types of calls. And in addition to that, we have other call – a shoplifting call where here’s a guy that’s stuffed three bottles of cooking sherry in his clothing, you know,” said Robl.
Robl say the department typically handles about two dozen such cases all summer.
He says it’s hard to pin down exactly why the numbers have suddenly increased but he believes some of the drunk people the department is interacting with are coming from elsewhere.
“We definitely have some homeless inebriates that move down here from Anchorage for the summer and that’s what they’ve told my officers. They just wanted to get out of the city and there are less people down here and they feel more comfortable,” said Robl.
Besides the number of calls involving intoxicated people going up, Robl says that the level of intoxication they are seeing is also higher. He told the Homer City Council last week that the city may need to look at a plan to handle issue.
“Something we discussed with Council on Monday night is that we might need to come up with community patrols and a sleep off center and some better way to deal with these folks than tying up a lot of police officers’ time,” said Robl.
Robl says the Homer jail has four cells and at times this summer, two and sometimes three of those cells have been occupied by intoxicated people.