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Violent streak in Fairbanks draws concern from officials

first_imgA recent spate of violence in Fairbanks is drawing concern from local officials.Listen now”Almost every day there’s some high-profile crime incident that’s happening,” Fairbanks city council member Joy Huntington said at a meeting on Monday.There have been three murders in the city this spring — as well as numerous serious assaults.The violence Huntington said has a big impact in a small community.”A lot of times, I know these people,” Huntington said. “I’m getting calls that the police are chasing some one that I know.”“There’s been a lot stuff going on in our city in the past 3 weeks,” Fairbanks City Mayor Jim Matherly said.Matherly thanked local police, tasked with responding to and investigating so many crimes. Matherly points to a focus on rental units that have been the scene of repeated incidents.”We’re gonna start cracking down on some of these local dives — that’s all I can call them. I’ve been right to their places, and they’re just terrible,” Matherly said. “If that means levying fines, if that means putting pressure on them to clean up their buildings, we’re gonna do that.”Matherly blamed landlords who neglect their properties.”If you take all the money from rent, and don’t invest anything back into the building, you’re just gonna attract more problems,” Matherly said.The recent trouble is also tied to drugs and alcohol. Huntington said many perpetrators of crime are suffering from addiction.”They absolutely are, you know, citizens, and they’re people that have families, and people that deserve the support and resources that they need,” Huntington said.Huntington stressed there’s only so much police can do, and that it’s up to the community to provide help, noting a new sobering center is currently in the works for Fairbanks.last_img read more