Police increase patrols around Sullivan Arena after hundreds of disturbance calls

One neighbor described an attempted home break-in: ‘Wife had to get rid of them with a little gunshot’
Police increase patrols around Sullivan Arena after hundreds of disturbance calls
Published: Feb. 10, 2023 at 2:35 PM AKST|Updated: Feb. 10, 2023 at 5:24 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Mark Martinson says you can hear the screams at night.

Lately, he says, Fairview has experienced a dramatic increase in people yelling, drug use, trash, graffiti and violence.

Then there was the night someone tried to break into his home.

“Wife had to get rid of them with a little gunshot, you know, scare them away. Yeah, it’s been kind of bad,” Martinson said.

Anchorage police report that calls from the Sullivan Arena, the city’s temporary homeless shelter, and calls from the neighborhood that surrounds it have gone up dramatically.

Disturbance tops the list of calls followed closely by medical assistance.

From June 2022 through January of this year, there were 358 disturbance calls from the areas around the arena. That is north to 15th Avenue, south to Fireweed Lane, west to A Street and east to Ingra Street.

The total number of calls during this time was 1,635. That does not include traffic calls.

There were 221 medic assist calls, 158 trespass calls and 88 assault calls.

From the Sullivan Arena itself during that timeframe, there were 102 medic assist calls and 85 disturbance calls.

Trespass and assault calls each have a total of 49.

Recently the APD asked for additional money to add extra patrols to the area surrounding the Sullivan Arena. The detail is called “Zero Tolerance.”

“‘Zero tolerance’ is simply a title given to area-specific details focused on curtailing criminal activity,” Renee Oistad, a community relations specialist with Anchorage police, wrote in an email.

“In this particular case, the Anchorage Assembly approved funds for a detail wherein officers will concentrate on enforcing laws surrounding the area of the Sullivan Arena. The Assembly approved the detail in direct response to citizens voicing concerns over increased crime in that vicinity.”

Friday morning, two police rigs sat in the parking lot beside A Street.

Several patrol cars drove up and down East 16th Avenue.

An Alaska’s News Source crew stood outside the Sullivan for about 20 minutes when an ambulance arrived to take a man from the shelter to a hospital.

Chelsie Robinson stood in front of the shelter waiting for a ride and listening to rapper Megan Thee Stallion.

She says she feels safe in the area.

“I know I can defend myself,” Robinson said.