Town Goes 4 Days Without Police After Cops, Chief Quit

And yet lawlessness didn't break out in the Alaskan town of Sand Point
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 4, 2017 6:25 PM CDT

(Newser) – A small town at the edge of Alaska's Aleutian Islands had no police oversight for several days after its three officers quit in quick succession, followed by the police chief's resignation, the AP reports. The resignations took place as the remote town of Sand Point's population of nearly 1,000 people swelled by several hundred for the commercial fishing and processing season. Two of the officers, a married couple, quit in early July, citing personal family issues, said City Administrator Andy Varner. The third officer quit soon after because his military spouse was transferring out of state. That left only the police chief, who chose to go on a long-planned vacation in Scotland. Varner and the City Council decided the chief would not have a job when he returned.

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That left Sand Point without police for four days this month. But there were no big problems when officers were absent, officials said. There were "a few calls into the 911 dispatch but they were minor," Varner said in an email. One local said no problems needed to be dealt with and the temporary absence of police was no big deal. The town population was at its summer peak, but the newcomers generally are busy working most of the season, said lifelong resident Dana Osterback, who manages the Sand Point Tavern. "I work at a bar and I never had any issues," she said. "And that's where most of the drama happens if it's going to happen." The police standards council helped find an acting police chief who arrived last week to help out until the jobs are filled. (Read more Alaska stories.)

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