Legislature(2021 - 2022)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

05/04/2021 03:30 PM COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 81 VILLAGE PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICER GRANTS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 81(CRA) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+= SB 46 LAW ENFORCEMENT: REGISTRY; USE OF FORCE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
          SB 46-LAW ENFORCEMENT: REGISTRY; USE OF FORCE                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:38:41 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES  announced the consideration  of SENATE BILL  NO. 46                                                               
"An  Act  relating  to  the   Alaska  Police  Standards  Council;                                                               
relating  to   municipal  correctional  officers   and  municipal                                                               
correctional employees; making  municipal police officers subject                                                               
to  police  standards;   establishing  a  statewide  use-of-force                                                               
database  in  the  Department  of   Public  Safety;  requiring  a                                                               
municipality that employs a person  as a municipal police officer                                                               
or  in  a  municipal  correctional facility,  the  Department  of                                                               
Corrections, or  the Department  of Public  Safety to  report for                                                               
inclusion in the database incidents of  use of force by state and                                                               
municipal  police, probation,  parole, and  correctional officers                                                               
and municipal correctional facility  employees; and providing for                                                               
an effective date."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
She noted the bill was first heard on 4/20/21.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:39:47 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GRAY-JACKSON,  speaking as  sponsor of SB  46, summarized                                                               
that the bill seeks to  ensure accountability for police violence                                                               
by  requiring  the  Department  of  Public  Safety  to  create  a                                                               
statewide use-of-force  database. She said everybody  deserves to                                                               
live  in a  world that  provides equal  protection and  access to                                                               
resources needed  to be  healthy, safe, and  free from  harm. She                                                               
emphasized that  information about a municipal  police officer or                                                               
municipal   correctional  facility   employee  recorded   in  the                                                               
database is confidential and not subject to public disclosure.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES announced invited testimony.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:41:17 PM                                                                                                                    
MICHAEL  GARVEY, Advocacy  Director, ACLU  of Alaska,  Anchorage,                                                               
Alaska, thanked the sponsor for inviting  him to testify on SB 46                                                               
and for  introducing the  "Turning Pain  into Progress"  suite of                                                               
police reform  legislation. He described  the package as  a vital                                                               
step to  address over-policing  and excessive  use of  force that                                                               
disproportionately affect people  of color. He stated  that SB 46                                                               
will further  the understanding of  how law  enforcement officers                                                               
use force in Alaska and help reduce the improper use of force.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
He  highlighted three  important  aspects of  SB  46. First,  the                                                               
database would capture data on uses  of force by a variety of law                                                               
enforcement entities, not  just officers on patrol.  He said this                                                               
is  important  because Alaska  has  the  second highest  rate  of                                                               
police killings  in the U.S.  Second, the database  would capture                                                               
demographic and  geographic data  that will show  the disparities                                                               
in uses  of force.  He noted that  this information  is currently                                                               
collected through independent reports,  not on a statewide basis.                                                               
For example, a recent report  from the Alaska Justice Information                                                               
Center  (AJIC) indicated  that Alaska  Natives  and Black  people                                                               
were   overrepresented  in   use-of-force   incidents  and   most                                                               
incidents involved men. The report  was based on a 10-year review                                                               
of  Office of  Special Prosecution  records that  pointed to  the                                                               
need to routinely collect this information.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:43:32 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. GARVEY advised that he proposed  an amendment to Section 9 to                                                               
add disability status to the  type of information collected about                                                               
people  against whom  force was  used. He  relayed that  the AJIC                                                               
report found  that in Alaska,  more than two-thirds  of incidents                                                               
involved a  person who exhibited mental  illness markers. Because                                                               
the  Department  of Corrections  is  one  of the  largest  mental                                                               
health providers  in the state, he  said it is important  to know                                                               
how law  enforcement uses force  on people with  disabilities. It                                                               
is  a   matter  of   equal  protection   and  will   reveal  when                                                               
intervention is necessary.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. GARVEY  said the third important  aspect of SB 46  is that it                                                               
will  make the  Department of  Public Safety's  report on  use of                                                               
force public.  To address  privacy concerns,  he said  DPS should                                                               
collect, store,  and make the data  public in a manner  that does                                                               
not  reveal personal  identifying information,  including through                                                               
reverse identification.  The data  should also  be reported  in a                                                               
disaggregated way  so as  to understand how  people who  fit into                                                               
multiple categories  experience use of force.  He emphasized that                                                               
this data is vital for  transparency and accountability. The data                                                               
alone  cannot  tell the  whole  story,  but  it can  help  reveal                                                               
problems  that require  change in  policy or  practice, he  said.                                                               
This is squarely in the public interest.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
He again  thanked the sponsor for  inviting him to testify  on SB
46 and the committee for its work on this important subject.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:45:39 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:46:08 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES  reconvened the  meeting and  noted the  sponsor had                                                               
follow-up remarks.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:46:13 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GRAY-JACKSON informed  Mr. Garvey  that she  intended to                                                               
offer the amendment he suggested.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:46:41 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES opened public testimony on SB 46.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:47:00 PM                                                                                                                    
MORGAN  LIM,   Advocate,  Planned  Parenthood   Alliance  Alaska,                                                               
Juneau, Alaska, stated  support for SB 46 and  reported that PPAA                                                               
stands with  Black, indigenous, and  people of  color communities                                                               
as they  demand change  and seek to  create safe  and sustainable                                                               
communities. He  spoke about achieving reproductive  justice, the                                                               
right to  raise children in  a safe and healthy  environment, and                                                               
that over-policing in Black and  indigenous communities makes the                                                               
promise  of  reproductive  freedom  unattainable.  He  said  PPAA                                                               
supports  efforts  to  transform  law enforcement  and  sees  the                                                               
requirement to establish a statewide  use-of-force database as an                                                               
important  step   towards  ensuring  police   accountability  and                                                               
transparency in Alaska.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. LIM  cited the  statistics that show  Alaska ranks  second in                                                               
the country for  the highest rates of police  killings and police                                                               
violence against  Black and indigenous people.  He said mandatory                                                               
reporting  of incidents  that  involve deadly  use  of force  and                                                               
collection  of demographic  details is  critical to  gain a  full                                                               
picture  of  police  behavior and  address  police  violence.  To                                                               
improve transparency,  he said PPAA believes  the public database                                                               
should  be available  on  the DPS  website both  to  view and  to                                                               
export for analysis.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. LIM  concluded that SB 46  is a simple and  common-sense step                                                               
in   the  right   direction  because   everyone  deserves   equal                                                               
protection and access to resources  to be safe, healthy, and free                                                               
from harm.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:49:35 PM                                                                                                                    
CHARLES MCKEE,  representing self,  Anchorage, Alaska,  stated he                                                               
is licensed  in the state as  a holder in due  course. He advised                                                               
that he  submitted a four-page  document titled  "Declaration and                                                               
Affidavit of Fact and Truth" as  part of his testimony. On page 3                                                               
it  talks about  the  duty to  respect  lives, private  property,                                                               
religious  convictions,  and  that  private  property  cannot  be                                                               
confiscated.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
He shared  that he was  on bail because $113,000  was confiscated                                                               
from  his credit  account under  worker's compensation.  This put                                                               
him in arrears with his landlord.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:51:11 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES asked if he had a position on SB 46.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:51:15 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  MCKEE replied  the bill  has to  include the  declaration of                                                               
truth and  fact. He mentioned  the ability of public  servants to                                                               
extract credit  from somebody's  account without  their knowledge                                                               
or consent.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:52:45 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES thanked  him  for his  comments  and closed  public                                                               
testimony on SB 46.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   HUGHES  asked   Mr.  Griffiths   for  his   comments  and                                                               
perspective of Section 1 of the bill.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:54:01 PM                                                                                                                    
ROBERT  GRIFFITHS, Executive  Director,  Alaska Police  Standards                                                               
Council, Juneau, Alaska, stated that  Section 1 adds entirely new                                                               
authorities and duties to the council.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HUGHES asked  for  a short  explanation  of the  council's                                                               
duties.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRIFFITHS explained that the  legislature charges the council                                                               
with setting  hiring and training standards  for police officers,                                                               
correctional   officers,   probation  officers,   and   municipal                                                               
corrections  officers.  The   council  issues  certifications  to                                                               
officers   who   have   met  training   standards   and   revokes                                                               
certifications from officers who no longer meet the standards.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES asked if the  council has training standards for use                                                               
of force.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRIFFITHS answered  yes; it is part of  the required training                                                               
at  the  law  enforcement  academy   along  with  training  about                                                               
constitutional rights.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES  asked if the  council already maintains  a registry                                                               
of certification revocations or denials.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:56:00 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. GRIFFITHS answered yes and the  list is public. He added that                                                               
most of the  council's decisions are posted on  the internet, and                                                               
they  contribute  to  the National  Decertification  Index.  That                                                               
information is shared with other participating states.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES asked if it would be a problem to report that list                                                                 
to the legislature each year.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRIFFITHS answered no; it would not be a problem.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HUGHES referenced  the requirement  in  subsection (e)  of                                                               
Section 1 and asked if this would  be a new requirement or if the                                                               
council   already  works   with  local   police  departments   on                                                               
developing rules and policies to implement standards.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRIFFITHS  answered that helping agencies  develop guidelines                                                               
would  be a  new requirement,  but  the council  has always  been                                                               
available to provide advice and support upon request.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:57:47 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MYERS  asked if the council  had discussed the idea  of a                                                               
database for use of force and deadly force through regulation.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRIFFITHS  answered the council  does not have  the authority                                                               
to mandate  that reporting, but  the council is cognizant  of the                                                               
national  narrative and  has  discussed  regulating the  training                                                               
related to  use of force and  the duty to intervene.  The council                                                               
is  currently working  through the  regulatory  process to  adopt                                                               
clear regulations  regarding unreasonable  use of force  and duty                                                               
for  officers to  intervene when  they witness  excessive use  of                                                               
force.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MYERS  summarized that the council  discussed the concept                                                               
but establishing a database was outside the council's authority.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES referenced  the requirement in Section 9  for DPS to                                                               
establish  a  statewide  use-of-force  database.  She  asked  Ms.                                                               
Monfreda if  DPS currently was collecting  use-of-force data from                                                               
local police departments.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:00:49 PM                                                                                                                    
KATHRYN  MONFREDA,  Director,  Division  of  Statewide  Services,                                                               
Department  of Public  Safety  (DPS),  Anchorage, Alaska,  stated                                                               
that DPS  serves as a portal  for 17 local police  departments to                                                               
report  use-of-force data  that is  passed  to the  FBI. The  FBI                                                               
publishes  that  data  depending  on the  requirements  from  the                                                               
Office of Management and Budget.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:01:40 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES  noted she  said that  17 police  departments report                                                               
and asked for the total number of local police departments.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. MONFREDA estimated  the total was 35-40 but  only 32 agencies                                                               
report uniform crime reporting (UCR) statistics.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HUGHES asked  if the  department  currently receives  data                                                               
through the Village Public Safety Officer (VPSO) Program.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MONFREDA  answered  that  VPSOs   do  not  report  the  data                                                               
directly; it comes through the trooper who works with the VPSO.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES asked if she had  any comments about Section 9 or if                                                               
she  had communicated  with local  police  departments about  the                                                               
proposed database.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MONFREDA said  the information  that is  collected currently                                                               
has  more  data elements  than  SB  46 requires,  but  additional                                                               
fields would  need to  be added. For  example, the  bill requires                                                               
collection of  the name of the  officer but that is  not required                                                               
in the national database.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES asked  if the department currently  collects data on                                                               
age,  race, gender,  and  sexual orientation  of  the officer  or                                                               
employee and the person against who the use of force was used.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:03:50 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MONFREDA answered the department  collects each of those data                                                               
points except for sexual orientation.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HUGHES asked  Lieutenant Olsen  if he  had any  comment on                                                               
Section 9 of SB 46.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  ERIC  OLSEN,  Deputy Commander,  Division  of  Alaska                                                               
State Troopers,  Department of Public Safety,  Anchorage, Alaska,                                                               
said he did not have any comments.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:04:19 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR   WILSON  asked   Ms.   Monfreda   how  the   demographic                                                               
information is collected.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MONFREDA replied  users log  in and  add information  to the                                                               
portal the FBI developed.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WILSON  asked if  the  demographic  information for  the                                                               
person  against  whom force  was  used  is determined  through  a                                                               
questionnaire or an assumption by the officer.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. MONFREDA answered it is based on officer observations.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:05:03 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES  asked if current  practice and the  requirements in                                                               
the bill only  differ in the number of  organizations that report                                                               
and collection of data about sexual orientation.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:05:22 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MONFREDA  answered yes,  but a major  difference is  the bill                                                               
does not  provide a specific definition  of use of force  but the                                                               
definition of what is currently  reported for the FBI database is                                                               
actual bodily injury or discharge of a firearm.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES asked for the  location in the bill and subsequently                                                               
noted the language on page 3, line 1:                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
        (10) "deadly force" has the meaning given in AS                                                                         
     11.81.900(b).                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
She asked Ms. Monfreda if that was her reference.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:06:55 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MONFREDA answered that she  was referencing the provision [in                                                               
Section 1] regarding  the use of deadly force  or the preparation                                                               
to use deadly force.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES asked if that would  go beyond the scope of what the                                                               
department currently collects.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. MONFREDA  answer that is correct;  it talks about the  use of                                                               
deadly force but not just force.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES asked how the FBI defines use of force.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. MONFREDA restated that it  is causing severe bodily injury or                                                               
the discharge of a firearm.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:07:59 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MYERS  asked  if  the  department  collects  demographic                                                               
information  such  as the  nationality  or  income class  of  the                                                               
victim.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. MONFREDA replied ethnicity is captured.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES read the language on page 2, lines 2-3.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
      ...an incident in which an officer used deadly force                                                                      
     or prepared to use deadly force against a person.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES asked the committee  to refer to the concerns voiced                                                               
by the Alaska Association of Chiefs of Police.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES advised that questions  or comments could be sent to                                                               
scra@akleg.gov.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:09:55 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GRAY-JACKSON thanked the committee for hearing the bill.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES commented that the chair of the State Affairs                                                                      
Committee was very interested in the bill.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:10:34 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES held SB 46 in committee.                                                                                           

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 46 Support Letter- PPAA 4.29.21.pdf SCRA 5/4/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 46
CSSB 81 Fiscal Note DPS-VPSO 5.3.21.pdf SCRA 5/4/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 81
CSSB 81 Fiscal Note DPS-CJISP 5.3.21.pdf SCRA 5/4/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 81
SB 46 Public Testimony Charles McKee.pdf SCRA 5/4/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 46