Frequent police caller resolves dispute over fines

Published: Mar. 3, 2020 at 5:37 PM AKST
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KTUU first met Lois Gilbert in January, when she shared her unhappiness over a letter she'd received from the police informing her she owed $3,500 in fines.

Gilbert told KTUU she got fined for "calling too much abut the gunshots" in her neighborhood. Gilbert, who lives in Mountain View, felt the fine was unfair and accused police of "trying to fine me for being a crime victim and for being a good citizen."

Anchorage Police told KTUU fines are imposed due to the city's "excessive police response" law.

Less than a week after KTUU's story aired, Gilbert received notice that the police department had changed its mind.

"They dropped the fine for too many police calls," Gilbert said in a recent follow-up interview.

The February 5 letter states the municipality has "agreed to withdraw and dismiss the fine." Gilbert said it was the right call.

"It wasn't anything that I was doing wrong," Gilbert told KTUU.

Anchorage Police declined to talk about why they reversed their decision, but it's in line with how they told KTUU they like to work with people in resolving situations where police are too-frequently called to the same address for repeat calls.

In a prior interview, APD officer Natash Welch told KTUU that "most people are compliant, most people do reach out. We come up with a plan that is effective, and the plan works."

For Gilbert, that's meant weekly visits from the city's Mobile Intervention Team, a group formed to help individuals overcome barriers to accessing services or help them stay housed.

As for Gilbert, she told us despite her dispute over fines she still plans to keep calling police when she thinks it's necessary.

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