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Earthquake 2018 – Ombudsman Update

In Front Page News, News by kate-omb

Last Friday, on November 30, a major earthquake struck the Anchorage and Mat-Su Valley. We are so thankful that our staff evacuated unhurt, and that community services came together to help so many people in the days following. As of Monday, December 3, we are still awaiting a report on the status of the building housing our Anchorage office — so we don’t know when we will reopen. Once we can get back into the building safely, we anticipate several days of clean up.

You can still reach Alaska State Ombudsman staff in our Juneau office at 907.465.4970 or through our website at ombud.alaska.gov. We’ll provide updates here and through Twitter and Facebook as we have news.

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Ombudsman Investigates Parks Law Enforcement Policy

In Front Page News, News by kate-omb

The Alaska State Ombudsman has concluded the investigation of a citizen complaint about how the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, within the Department of Natural Resources, investigated a crime reported on state park lands. The Ombudsman found that, while the park ranger had investigated the crime according to the training and direction given by the Division, that did not align with the express law enforcement policy adopted by the agency. The Ombudsman recommended that the Division update the law enforcement policy to better reflect the demands and expectations of park rangers as peace officers.

Read the press release.

Read the executive summary of the Ombudsman’s report.

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Ombudsman Office Now in Midtown Anchorage

In Front Page News, News by kate-omb

WE’RE MOVING!

Anchorage LIO

Anchorage Legislative Office Building

The Anchorage office of the Alaska State Ombudsman will be closed August 24-31 while we move from our 4th Avenue location to the Anchorage Legislative Office Building at 1500 West Benson Boulevard.

 

One of the Alaska State Ombudsman’s goals is to provide welcoming, accessible, and safe environments for people to come for help with their problems. In 2017, we assessed our current office locations to determine whether they met this goal. They didn’t.

We spent several months this year soliciting for office space in Anchorage that would offer the public greater access in a safer, more comfortable environment. Then the Alaska Legislature invited us to move into the Legislative Building in Midtown Anchorage.

Unlike our downtown location, the Legislative Building has lots of free parking for visitors and on-site security. Even though this building is still being renovated, we are moving now because our office on 4th Avenue just can’t meet our needs anymore. The new location also saves quite a bit on rental costs.

It may take a while before we can settle into permanent space designed for ombudsman operations, but we are excited for the opportunity to eventually be more accessible to Alaskans. We hope you’ll be patient with us during this time.

Alaskans can make complaints by calling our intake team at 907.269.5290 Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. or anytime online through our website.

While we get settled in our new office, Anchorage area folks can meet with a member of the intake team by appointment only (to protect the confidentiality of complainants and investigations). Call 269-5290 to schedule a time to come in.

In Juneau, folks can come into the office (130 Seward Street, Suite 501) without an appointment Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.