Tuesday, January 12, 2010
It happened again! Some idiot thought he had the right to ambush one of our Anchorage City policemen last Saturday. I do not know the injured officer, but I am indignant! Investigators say that Officer Jason Allen was in uniform and was in a marked patrol car when he was ambushed. He had responded to a domestic-dispute call from a home on Medfra Street, between 14th and 15tgh avenues, and then returned to his car. Just before 2:00 a.m. Saturday a dark-colored sedan pulled alongside his patrol car, and a person on the passenger side of the car opened fire with a handgun without any words exchanged. Allen was shot five times in the arms and torso, but his bulletproof vest stopped some of the rounds. He stayed alert enough to call for help on his radio and to pass along information to his fellow officers before going into surgery. His injuries were potentially life-threatening, but he has a good chance for a full recovery. He is a veteran police officer with a reputation for fairness and a good man to have patrolling our streets. The shooting does not appear to be connected to the call that Allen responded to at the home on Medfra. There is a very, very slim possibility that someone with a grudge against him tracked him down. He had been on duty for about three hours and was not on his usual turf in another part of town. The police do not yet have a clear motive for the shooting, but it appears that Allen was shot simply because of his uniform. Our entire community is shocked, especially those at the APD. Since the shooting, off-duty officers have volunteered their time to pair up at night for safety reasons. The Anchorage Police Department Employees Association is offering a $10,000 reward, which comes from the police union, the city and other public safety unions. This is the first time in recent memory that a bounty has been offered for information leading to the arrest and successful prosecution of criminals. Other officers have been assaulted, but this case is different in that the officer was ambushed. An editorial in the Anchorage Daily News this morning states, "The shooting of Anchorage police officer Jason Allen … was an attack on the community. That's because any assault on an officer of the law is a fundamental assault on the rule of law." This type of brazen and deliberate attack is not a familiar one to Anchorage, and there is some concern that it might be gang related. Other agencies are assisting in the investigation. Agents from the FBI, the Alaska State Troopers, the Seattle Police Department and others are now in on the search. Seattle officers are assisting because of their recent experience dealing with shootings there on October 31 and November 29 that killed five police officers. There may not be a specific link between the shootings in Seattle and Anchorage, but the crimes are similar and may require similar strategies in the investigation. The local FBI office is providing assistance, resources and technical assistance and whatever else they can provide to solve the case. This case may not end up in federal jurisdiction, but it is not unusual for federal authorities to get involved in a serious case, especially when an officer is targeted. My thoughts and prayers are with this officer, his family, and the entire police force. May God help them find those involved in the shooting and bring them to swift justice!