FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The City of Fairbanks is seeking the public's help to continue funding the 'Emergency Service Patrol' known as the ESP. The ESP is tasked with taking publicly inebriated individuals to a safe location. Alaska State law requires cities provide this service.
Before the ESP was created Fairbanks Police and Fire Department had to deal with the calls.
Teal Soden, with the Fairbanks Mayor's office, says that Fairbanks has a problem with publicly inebriated people and ESP helps to free up resources from the police and fire departments. The city sent out a letter to around 900 business that are in areas where the Emergency Service Patrol is most often used.
"There is thousands of calls that come into ESP each year. In fact, just this year alone we have already had 4,000 calls for service for ESP, and over 2,000 instances where an individual had to be transported,” said Soden.
Funding for the service had been provided by a state grant that expired in 2017. The states was using general funding from the state, but that has been cut as well.
Due to recent budget cuts, the city is struggling to pay for the ESP, and is asking for businesses who benefit from the service to donate.
The service is expected to cost around $250,000 this year.
Businesses or individuals who wish to donate can visit the downtown association's website to do so.
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