Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does APD send out police patches/pins and is there a fee involved?
A: Due to fiscal restrictions and safety concerns, we are only able to honor requests from current and retired law enforcement personnel. If you are current law enforcement and would like a patch sent to you, please send your written request on your agency's letterhead to the Anchorage Police Department, 4501 Elmore Road, Anchorage, AK 99507, Attn: Public Affairs. For retirees, please submit your request in writing with the department from which you retired and their contact information for verification.
Q: I was wondering if you have a ride-along program for the general public? If there is such a program in Anchorage, what is the process for getting involved?
A: Yes we do have a ride-along program; you must be 20 years of age and pass a background check. Please complete the ride-along request form which is available under the "Forms, Reports, and Reports" link to the left. Please complete this form a minimum of seven days prior to wanting to do the ride along.
Q. I will be traveling to your state and would like to know if there are any special laws or permits that need to be purchased in advance for carrying a pistol. I will have my weapons permit from my home state.
A. Currently, there are no special weapons permits needed to carry a firearm anywhere in the State of Alaska. However, there are many conditions that restrict a person from carrying a loaded firearm at certain times or locations. It would be wise to research Alaska State Statutes concerning Weapons 11.61.190 through .220 and since it appears that you have a CCW permit issued by your state, you may also wish to review AS 18.65.700 through .790.
In general: You may not possess a firearm:
- If you are a minor (without parent or guardian permission and presence)
- If you are a prohibited person (i.e. a convicted felon, a person who is a current respondent of a Protective Order from any state).
- While intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
- On or in any school ground or building, government building or court building.
- In any place or premise where alcohol is sold for consumption. It is an affirmative defense however if possession occurred at a place designated as a restaurant and the person did not consume intoxicating liquor.
- In any place where signs are posted indicating the prohibition of firearms.
- In any private residence without the permission of the owner/resident.
Q. Are you still accepting applications for the Auxiliary Search Team? If so, where do I go to apply?
A. Yes, the APD Search Team currently accepts applications year-round. There are some specific instructions that are given by accessing the Search Team website. Thank you for your interest.
Q. Why does Anchorage post in the "don't" section in carry conceal permits state carry conceal in City buildings? Other than a jail under 18.65.778 a city cannot prohibit the carrying of a concealed weapon under a permit and now that permits are no longer required when was the law changed?
A. The current State Statute allows anyone who owns or leases property, to disallow firearms -- concealed or otherwise -- on their premises. In fact a provision of the law states that even permit holders (those who wish to possess a CCW permit for various reasons) risk being charged and losing their CCW permit if in violation of such law. This does require that the building owner (to include government offices) must post in a conspicuous place, observable placards or notice that firearms are not permitted. Any homeowner, business owner or leaseholder, may possess a firearm on their own respective property. That does not give anyone else a right to possess a firearm on the property of another, if it is known or communicated "No Firearms Allowed" - or - "Weapons Prohibited". Please read AS 17.65.755 for clarification. You may wish to consult with an attorney for any legal opinion, as mine is an interpretation of the elements of the law.
Q. I'm currently serving in the United States Navy and I am interested in joining your police force when I leave active duty. I am concerned with a few things though. I was wondering what the changes of going through the academy or even being accepted into the academy while staying in the U.S. Naval Reserves. Would you even accept someone with that commitment? Also what is the percentage of recruits that make it through the academy?
A. You do not need to be concerned about joining our department and having a reserve commitment. We have many officers serve in Reserve and National Guard Units; in fact, several officers have been recently activated. Our Recruiting and Training Departments try to select candidates that meet department requirements and have the best opportunity to complete the training. It is difficult to give you a percentage of candidates that don't make it through the process, but normally there are a few candidates from each academy that realize that police work is not what they expected. If you are considering APD, please visit our recruitment website.
Q. I had a motorist threaten me while driving to work. Normally I wouldn't think twice about it, but he made a verbal threat against my life. Should I report this verbal threat?
A. YES! Anytime someone makes a threat against your life that seems more than just a passing statement, you should report this to the local police. Example: if an upset customer or colleague were to say: "I'm so mad right now, I could just hurt someone"...this would be a passing statement. If, however, the statement were: "I'm so mad at you right now, I'm just going to stomp you (or another person) into the ground" - (and they were making some substantial step towards you (or another)...this would be considered Disorderly Conduct as written by Municipal Code. Please bear in mind that not all investigations result in a criminal arrest and/or charges being filed against another. That decision is solely upon the discretion of the Prosecuting Office, in coordination with the police. At a minimum, there would be an official report on file as to the suspected person's actions and/or conduct.
Q. We discovered the front plate missing on our personal vehicle. The rear plate is in place. Is it a requirement to have a front license plate? If yes, what action do I need to undertake?
A. Per Alaska State Statutes and Municipal Ordinance, there must be two license plates attached to each motor vehicle (car, truck, bus, motorhome). You need to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles to obtain a new set of license plates.
Q. My neighbor plays his music so loud my dishes rattle in my cupboards. Is there some sort of law in Anchorage that would tell him to turn his music down?
A. Conduct you describe is covered by the Disorderly Conduct section of Anchorage Municipal Code. There is no noise restriction time in this code; it is enforced by the ordinance definition of loud noise, and the law requires that the offending individual be informed that his conduct is disturbing others before he can be charged. If this problem continues, you can make a loud music complaint to APD Dispatch at 786-8900 for an officer response. The officer will contact the offender and warn him as required. If the offender refuses to quiet down, he can be charged with Disorderly Conduct.
Q. How can I submit a report/complaint about an on-duty officer's reckless driving?
A. If you witness an officer driving recklessly you should contact the Anchorage Police Department Dispatch (786-8900) and ask for a patrol supervisor to contact you. The supervisor will take your information and will initiate an investigation in reference to the officers' conduct. If a supervisor is not available in a timely manner, re-contact APD Dispatch and ask the switchboard to direct your call to the Internal Affairs Division.
Q. Is it illegal to shoot animals with a BB gun in a residential neighborhood? Are soft guns illegal in the municipality?
A. Anchorage Municipal Code 8.25.030 regulates Discharge of Firearms within the Municipality. It states, in part, it is unlawful for any person to knowingly shoot, discharge, or flourish any firearm, air rifle or air pistol within the MOA except in those areas open to the public for lawful hunting or upon established shooting ranges.
Q. My husband is 24 and I am 20. Is it legal for me to go into clubs or bars with him?
A. In short -- YES -- you may accompany your spouse into a licensed premises but cannot be served. The premises has the right to refuse your entry -- as any private business or residence may choose. You may research this State Statute online. It is found under Title 4, Alcoholic Beverage Laws.
Q. I want to sell a handgun that has an Alaska Drivers License number etched on it. Should I etch over it to make it unreadable before trying to sell it? Does the etching and/or the ADL make the gun unsellable? Do you have any other advice to sell the gun safely?
A. You would be best served speaking with a licensed gun sales person or the BATF at 271-5701. There are very few restrictions in selling your firearm, but speaking bluntly and from experience:
1). Copy down your serial number, model and make (i.e. Colt, 45 caliber model 1911, serial number BR459).
2) Ask for the buyers ID card before handing them the firearm and copy down the name and DOB as spelled on the form.
3) Make a bill of sale with the listed information (much like a car).
4) Provide a copy to the buyer and keep a permanent copy for your records.
You'd be surprised at how often the police use a registration trace to find the first purchaser and then others. It might save you some extensive scrutiny and time in the future.
Q. What is the law regarding running snow machines within city limits?
A. Snow machines are not permitted to run on MOA property (with the possible exception of a couple of lakes in town and Chugach State Park) or private property (without permission of the land owner). If the machine is being operated on private property and the operator has permission to do so or is the property owner, then it becomes a noise issue. A responding officer would then have to make a judgement on how disruptive it is deemed to be.
Q. Can you get a ticket for having your front license plate in the front window of your car?
A. Yes, you can receive a citation for not having your front plate attached to your front bumper. If your car is registered in Alaska, you are issued two plates (front and rear). The rear plate must have the month and year tabs on it. If you purchased a vehicle without a front plate, go to DMV and obtain a new set of plates.
Q. I am trying to find out more on children riding on motorcycles. I know they have to have a helmet but is there a certain age they have to be before they can ride as a passenger? Also, where are they to sit?
A. Title 9.40.020 section D (interference with operator) is the only section that makes reference to your question. It states no operator may carry any person nor may any person ride in a position that will interfere with the operator or control of the motorcycle or the view of the operator. No age is stated.
Q. Is there an upper age limit for the patrol officer position?
A. The Anchorage Police Department requires that an applicant for the position of Patrol Officer be at least 21 years old. There is no upper age limit. The APD has hired recruits from the age of 21 through the age of 51 over the last 3 or 4 years so you can see that age is not a major factor.
Q. What are the laws concerning use of firearms within the city limits? In particular firing the firearm in or around an apartment complex?
A. Under Municipal Ordinance 8.25.030 Discharge of Firearms (A). It is unlawful for any person to knowingly: (1). shoot, discharge or flourish any firearm, air rifle or air pistol within the Municipality of Anchorage except in those areas open to the public for lawful hunting or upon established shooting ranges. It might also violate State Statutes to include: 11.41.220(a) Assault in the Second Degree; 11.41.250(a) Reckless Endangerment; 11.61.190-220 Misconduct Involving Weapons. Bottom line is it is illegal to discharge a firearm in the vicinity of an apartment complex, someone could be injured.
Q. My wife and I were wondering why the curfew laws do not appear to be enforced. It seems lately that many of the people involved in unlawful behavior are juveniles and they are raising havoc after the curfew hours.
A. The curfew laws are still being enforced. You are correct that we have more calls-in-stack than officers to handle them. It is not uncommon for Mid Shift Patrol (2300-0900 hours) to have 20+ calls waiting for an officer. When officers are free to enforce laws, they do. We can't stop vehicles just to identify the occupants for their age status. We stop the vehicles for a multitude of reasons, then we legally identify the occupants.
Q. Can I get a restraining order on someone who has been harassing me? If so, how do I go about it?
A. A Domestic Violence Restraining Order is a special type of restraining order issued by the court when convinced that the applicant has been a victim of domestic violence by a household member. In this case your scenario would not apply for such. You can, however, phone the Anchorage Police Department with each harassing phone call and begin the documentation process. The violator could then be charged with Illegal Use of a Telephone if he/she continues this behavior once advised by an officer that he/she is violating the law (8.10.090).