Emergency Service Patrol

Call 459-6890 for the Emergency Service Patrol. 

NOTE: As of June 1, 2016 the Emergency Service Patrol will no longer be directly managed by the Downtown Association of Fairbanks. The ESP is instead managed by the City of Fairbanks. The Downtown Association will continue to support the ESP through fundraising. Click here if you wish to donate.

Alaska Statute Title 47 requires local public safety agencies to take intoxicated or incapacitated people into protective custody to prevent victimization and cold-related injuries. However, a lack of capacity at the Fairbanks Police and Fire Departments to handle non-criminal and non-emergent situations (presented by intoxicated and incapacitated persons) creates a need for the Emergency Service Patrol (ESP).

The ESP deploys as a downtown foot patrol and city-wide van patrol 19 hours/day, 7 days/week to address the intensive and recurring needs of Fairbanks’ incapacitated and intoxicated peoples. The project addresses the immediate needs of chronically inebriated people in our community; people who are often homeless with co-occurring mental health disorders. The ESP locates, assists, and transports these individuals to appropriate points of familial, clinical, or medical care. In 2023, the ESP responded to 3,896 calls for service and, of those calls, a protective custody transport occurred 1,663 times. 

While the ESP directly impacts those most at-risk, the program has at least four positive impacts on the greater Fairbanks community. First, a vulnerable population has ESP Ambassadors looking out for them on the streets to head-off victimization, cold-related injuries, and death. Second, the ESP reduces intimidating behaviors and keeps public spaces and storefronts safe and welcoming for all to enjoy. Third, the ESP has a mandate to seek care for individuals appropriate to their condition and appropriate to the clinical/medical resources available at any given time in the Fairbanks community.  Finally, the ESP handles the Title 47 requirements of protective custody and transport at roughly half of what it costs the Fairbanks Police and Fire Departments. The ESP program has a $322,000 operating budget funded by a community effort.

ESP responds to calls of a non-criminal or non-emergency nature for persons who are incapacitated or intoxicated in a public place, defined as: a place to which the public or a substantial group of persons has access and includes, but is not limited to, streets, highways, sidewalks, alleys, transportation facilities, parking areas, convention centers, sports arena, schools, places of business or amusement, shopping centers, malls, parks, playgrounds, prisons, and hallways, lobbies, doorways and other portions of apartment houses and hotels not constituting rooms or apartments designed for actual residence.

If an intoxicated or incapacitated person is in a public place, whether public or privately owned, that person is subject to Title 47.   Public places do not include areas not open to the public, such as hotel rooms, commercial kitchens or private residences. While ESP Ambassadors can accept the help of the property owner, its representative or employee in getting an intoxicated person to a public space (like a sidewalk), this is not a requirement and ESP Ambassadors may exercise their authority under Title 47 on public places on private property.

Click here if you wish to donate. Thank you!

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Patrol Area

In the News: Fairbanks eyes early concepts for Emergency Service Patrol, 2024-05-07; Planning starts for summer safety planning for Golden Heart Plaza, 2023-03-31; News-Miner Community Perspective, 2015-10-06; News-Miner editorial, 2014-05-08; City, Downtown Association ink deal for larger Fairbanks inebriate patrol , 2014-04-11; CSP in Borough budget, 2014-02-13; News-Miner editorial, 2014-01-29; Public Safety Policy Shake-up, 2013-12-11; News-Miner editorial heralds the CSP and donors, 2011-12-02; Anonymous donor makes an early Christmas for the CSP’s beneficiaries, 2011-12-01; Alaska Mental Health Trust buys CSP new van, 2010-03-12; Fairbanks Daily News Miner pro-CSP, 2010-03-12.

Call 459-6890 for the Emergency Service Patrol. 

Or call the Fairbanks Dispatch Department at 450-6507.

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