Ask a Dispatcher
Q. Is it appropriate to call 911 or the JPD business line when a bear is seen walking around? A lot of bears are out this time of year, and I was wondering if it is even necessary to call this in.
Dear Juneau Resident,
You do not need to call in a bear sighting unless the bear is a threat to people or property or it can reasonably be anticipated the bear is going to become a threat. Bears just walking around being bears is not something that needs to be reported. If the bear is just walking around being a bear in your living room, that would be an example of a situation where a reasonable person would believe that big problems are about to happen and JPD should be called. A bear did get into a house with two residents in the Lemon Creek area years ago. A very exciting evening for all involved, not the least of which was the bear.
If a bear is in garbage, then there is enforcement that may need to happen concerning someone attracting bears by not securing garbage.
Chasing bears out of an area may seem like it solves a short term issue but that practice leads to long term issues as the bears become desensitized. The worst case scenario is the bear then needs to be destroyed. That is why JPD officers want to leave bears alone unless there is a compelling reason to scare the bear.