ANCHORAGE, Alaska — According to a report from Forbes magazine this week, Anchorage is the nation’s fifth most dangerous city -- a claim that’s already coming into play in the emerging mayoral race in 2012.
The Forbes report says Anchorage’s 813 violent crimes per 100,000 residents give it a higher crime rate than other cities of comparable size. It also mentions that while authorities are moving to restrict local production of drugs like methamphetamines, a steady meth pipeline from Mexico is supplying area demand.
Anchorage Assembly member and mayoral candidate Paul Honeman pounced on the report Thursday afternoon. He linked the city’s listing in the report to a 2010 budget amendment he offered authorizing funds for a police academy to train more Anchorage Police Department officers, which passed the Assembly but was vetoed by current Mayor Dan Sullivan.
"This report is a sign that our city does not have the appropriate number of police officers on our streets," Honeman, a former public information officer for APD, said in a statement.
APD Chief Mark Mew, however, said the report isn’t completely accurate because all cities classify crimes differently. Anchorage prosecutes some crimes as felonies instead of misdemeanors to combat high local rates of sexual assault and domestic violence.
“Other jurisdictions Outside aren’t doing that,” Mew said. “If everybody else handled their domestic-violence assaults the way we’re doing it, we might not have made the Forbes report.”
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