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Thanksgiving in Kodiak
by Nicole Klauss/nklauss@kodiakdailymirror.com
Nov 23, 2012 | 180 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A diner drizzles gravy onto her  plate during the American Legion's annual Thanksgiving meal Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012 in Kodiak. More than 200 diners enjoyed a complimentary meal provided by the American Legion.
(James Brooks photo)
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While most Kodiak residents were busy stuffing their turkeys, watching football and spending Thanksgiving morning with their families, it was business as usual for Kodiak’s police, fire and public works departments.

Thanks to an inch and a half of fresh snow, plow drivers got an early start on Thanksgiving morning, clearing roads for drivers en route to family gatherings. Thursday morning was slow for both the fire and police departments, as only a few calls came in.

Six people worked the Thanksgiving Day shift at the police department including two corrections officers at the Kodiak Jail, two dispatchers and two police officers.

“It’s normally quieter on a holiday,” said Sgt. Tom Maloney, who has worked at the Kodiak Police Department for 25 years.

On a regular day, the department responds to multiple calls reporting bear sightings, parking complaints and animal complaints.

Maloney said the number of calls has increased over the years as Kodiak's population has grown less transient and people have shown more interest in the community they live in.

"There are literally thousands of reports more a year than when I first started," he said.

Officers responded to a domestic violence complaint early Thursday morning, then spent the rest of the morning doing foot and vehicle patrols on streets mostly empty of traffic.

On a ride along with Officer Jon Cook, the only call to follow up on was a report of a car driving quickly as it approached the Y intersection downtown.

The afternoon was expected to get busier for the corrections officers as prisoners in the jail were allowed visiting hours with their families.

Police dispatchers Elly Cornelius and Louise Halvorsen have worked holidays at the station over the past few years.

"I don't mind working because there are other people with families, kids and wives, and it's about sharing the holiday with loved ones and eating too much turkey," Cornelius said.

“It’s not a bad way to spend the holiday, with a friend,” Halvorsen added. “We work well together.”

The three firefighters working a 24-hour shift at the Kodiak Fire Department also didn’t mind working. They had a spread of turkey, mashed potatoes, pie and other dishes planned for the afternoon, and their families were expected to join in.

"It's just another day," firefighter Dan Farmer said. "We bring in food and if no one calls 911, we have a nice meal."

For the firefighters, the day started around 5:30 a.m., when they received a call for emergency services. After the call, the team spent the morning doing regular maintenance checks to make sure the equipment was working properly and ready to go.

"If we have to be here on a holiday we get the basics done," Lt. Dave Billings said. "We have to be ready for that one call."

There's no real way to know what emergencies a holiday will bring, Billings said. Some years are busy, and some aren't.

"In my 15 years, we've had holidays in-house, and then we've been on a Christmas call where we're putting out a fire in the attic and pulling presents out of the house," Billings said. "We know if we leave the station, someone has had a worse day than us."

Contact Mirror writer Nicole Klauss at nklauss@kodiakdailymirror.com.

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