Update: Army conducts first courtesy patrol in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - On Thursday night, Platoon Leader - Second Lieutenant Emmet Dunham, Platoon Sergeant - SFC Ruben Sepulveda, and Machine Gunner - SPC Anthony Reconnu took to the streets of Fairbanks for one of the patrols.
Driving a pre-planned route, their first stop was the Banks Alehouse. As they pulled into the parking lot it was clear the restaurant was closed, they marked that down on their list and head to Brewsters for their next stop. After parking and stepping inside, Sepulveda said it was quiet.
As they drove around Fairbanks, Sepulveda said that they were, “checking the welfare of soldiers making sure they are doing the right thing when they are out in the city and just making sure if they need any help for any reason we are there to assist them.”
The van drove by Hoodoo Brewing Company, the parking lot was full and a large crowd had gathered on the outside patio. Dunham asks Sepulveda to make a note of the scene there.
Dunham says they aren’t only contacting soldiers, “Our goal is to kind of just give the command team a greater situational awareness of what soldiers are up to. You know it’s less of us enforcing rules and more of us just helping the command team make good decisions.”
All of this is to help the soldiers stay safe and healthy as well as keeping the community members in Fairbanks safe.
Members of the 1-25 Styker Brigade Combat Team will be conducting nightly patrols in Fairbanks between Thursday and Sunday for the foreseeable future. According to Command Sergeant Major of the First Stryker Brigade Dan Rose, the patrols will drive military vans around Fairbanks during the evenings of Thursdays through Sundays. The goal of the patrols is to encourage soldiers to be good citizens.
Rose said the patrols will drive through the community making sure they follow COVID-19 protocols and other rules at Fort Wainwright. He said the catalyst was the virus and that they wanted to ensure everyone is safe.
“We just want to make sure that in the times that we have right now in Fairbanks and in Fort Wainwright that we’re making sure that our community, the military community is doing the right thing while they’re also being citizens of Fairbanks community,” Rose said
Rose said that the patrols are not law enforcement, but are designed to interact with military members. Patrol personnel can only advise other soldiers to make good decisions.
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