On the streets of Nome

(Video by Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News)

Nome was once known as the boneyard of the Bering Strait region.

Visitors from surrounding villages died and disappeared so frequently that the FBI launched an investigation, concluding that many had succumbed to the bitter wind and cold after drinking.

Today, something has changed.

City officials said no one has died or gone missing in years, thanks in part to the creation of a homeless shelter and a safety patrol team that walks Nome streets during the busiest drinking times. Darlene Trigg led the patrol in early October as Lance Cannon, one of two new city community service officers, fielded 911 calls about problem drinkers.

“Our community has been challenged in past in the sense that people come to Nome and they get lost and we’re just trying to prevent that. We’re trying to prevent people from getting hurt … Knowing that you are part of that, it’s a very deep feeling.” – Darlene Trigg

Originally published October 30, 2013 in Anchorage Daily News.