Legislature(2011 - 2012)BUTROVICH 205

03/01/2012 09:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS

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09:03:27 AM Start
09:03:51 AM SB198
10:30:40 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Scheduled But Not Heard
Heard & Held
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            SENATE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         March 1, 2012                                                                                          
                           9:03 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Bill Wielechowski, Chair                                                                                                
Senator Joe Paskvan, Vice Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Albert Kookesh                                                                                                          
Senator Kevin Meyer                                                                                                             
Senator Cathy Giessel                                                                                                           
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 198                                                                                                             
"An   Act   establishing   procedures   relating   to   issuance,                                                               
suspension, or revocation of certification  of police officers by                                                               
the  police  standards  council;  making  certain  court  service                                                               
officers  subject  to  certification   by  the  police  standards                                                               
council; making confidential  certain information that personally                                                               
identifies a police officer; relating  to requesting or requiring                                                               
police  officers to  submit to  lie detector  tests; repealing  a                                                               
provision exempting  certain police  officers from  a prohibition                                                               
against  requiring certain  employees to  submit to  lie detector                                                               
tests; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                    
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
SENATE BILL NO. 29                                                                                                              
"An  Act  relating  to  the reporting  and  analysis  of  certain                                                               
information  relating  to  tax credits,  deductions,  exclusions,                                                               
exemptions, deferrals, and other  tax expenditures; and providing                                                               
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: SB 198                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: POLICE OFFICER PROTECTIONS/CERTIFICATION                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): STATE AFFAIRS                                                                                                       
02/17/12       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/17/12       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
03/01/12       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
THOMAS PRESLEY, Staff                                                                                                           
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Introduced SB 198 on behalf of the sponsor.                                                               
TOM CLEMONS, Director                                                                                                           
Alaska Association of Chiefs of Police                                                                                          
Seward, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition to SB 198.                                                                        
DAVE SEXTON, Executive Director                                                                                                 
Alaska Police Standards Council (APSC)                                                                                          
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition to SB 198.                                                                        
JAKE METCALFE, Executive Director                                                                                               
Public Safety Employees Association (PSEA), Local 803                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 198.                                                                           
CHRIS GIFFORD, Municipal Chapter President                                                                                      
Public Safety Employees Association and                                                                                         
Juneau Police Department                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Spoke in support of SB 198.                                                                               
JAY SEARS, Alaska State Trooper and                                                                                             
Western Vice President                                                                                                          
Public Safety Employees Association (PSEA)                                                                                      
Nome, Alaska                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 198.                                                                           
MARK MEW, Chief of Police                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska and                                                                                                           
Alaska Police Standards Council (APSC)                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition to SB 198                                                                         
THOMAS ROBSON, Court Services Officer (CSO)                                                                                     
Alaska State Troopers and                                                                                                       
Public Safety Employees Association (PSEA)                                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 198.                                                                           
JEFFERY MITTMAN                                                                                                                 
Executive Director                                                                                                              
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Alaska                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Voiced concerns about sections of SB 198.                                                                 
AARON DANIELSON, President                                                                                                      
Airport Police and Fire Officer (APFO) and                                                                                      
Vice President                                                                                                                  
Public Safety Employees Association (PSEA)                                                                                      
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support SB 198.                                                                              
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
9:03:27 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BILL WIELECHOWSKI called the  Senate State Affairs Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 9:03  a.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order   were  Senators   Giessel,  Kookesh,   Meyer,  and   Chair                                                               
Wielechowski. Senator Paskvan arrived shortly thereafter.                                                                       
        SB 198-POLICE OFFICER PROTECTIONS/CERTIFICATION                                                                     
9:03:51 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI announced  that the  first bill  would be  SB
198,  which provides  police officers  with improved  due process                                                               
procedures  when faced  with disciplinary  actions, and  provides                                                               
better  protection of  their personal  information, such  as home                                                               
THOMAS PRESLEY,  staff, Senator Bill Wielechowski,  introduced SB
198 on behalf of the sponsor.  He read from the following sponsor                                                               
     The intent of SB 198  is to ensure that public servants                                                                    
     who  are   entrusted  with  protecting   Alaskans,  are                                                                    
     afforded  due  process   and  protections  when  facing                                                                    
     allegations  of misconduct.  First, SB  198 allows  for                                                                    
     suspension   of   a   police   officer's   certificate.                                                                    
     Currently, Alaska  law does not provide  for the Alaska                                                                    
     Police Standards Council  to suspend certificates, only                                                                    
     to  revoke them.  Revocation of  a  license has  severe                                                                    
     consequences; officers  may no  longer practice  in the                                                                    
     state and,  for all  intents and purposes,  loses their                                                                    
     livelihood  as  a  result. Suspension  is  one  way  to                                                                    
     discipline, yet retain police officers.                                                                                    
     Section  2   sets  the   standard  for   evidence  when                                                                    
     considering revocation  of an  officer's certification.                                                                    
     The new standard would be clear and convincing.                                                                            
     Section  3 makes  it unlawful  to suspend  or revoke  a                                                                    
     certificate  or   refuse  to  grant  one   based  on  a                                                                    
     disciplinary action  against the officer that  has been                                                                    
     reversed or removed.                                                                                                       
     Section   4  adds   court  service   officers  to   the                                                                    
     definition  of "police  officer."  These court  service                                                                    
     officers  already perform  the  functions of  certified                                                                    
     officers.  They carry  guns,  make  arrests, and  serve                                                                    
     warrants. Including  these people under  the definition                                                                    
     of police  officers will make for  streamlined training                                                                    
     and liability coverage.                                                                                                    
     Section  5 prohibits  an  employer from  discriminating                                                                    
     against  police officers  in the  case that  an officer                                                                    
     refuses  to  take a  lie  detector  test. Studies  have                                                                    
     shown that the results of  a polygraph can vary greatly                                                                    
     based  on  environment.  One study  by  the  Office  of                                                                    
     Technology   found   that    although   the   polygraph                                                                    
     instrument  itself  is  essentially the  same  for  all                                                                    
     applications, the  purpose of the examination,  type of                                                                    
     individual  tested, examiner  training, setting  of the                                                                    
     examination, and  type of questions asked,  among other                                                                    
     factors,  can  differ   substantially.  The  instrument                                                                    
     cannot itself detect deception.                                                                                            
     Section 6 allows for a  police officer to refuse taking                                                                    
     a   lie  detector   test.   It   makes  that   decision                                                                    
     confidential.  It may  not be  recorded  on the  police                                                                    
     officer's personnel file or employment record.                                                                             
     Section   7  makes   photographs  and   home  addresses                                                                    
     confidential  unless an  office voluntarily  authorizes                                                                    
     their  release.  Instances   of  police  being  stalked                                                                    
     because of the public  availability of this information                                                                    
     have been recorded. This section would make it harder                                                                      
     for those seeking to harm officers and their families.                                                                     
      Section 8 repeals a section in current statute that                                                                       
        exempts police officers from protections against                                                                        
     taking a lie detector test.                                                                                                
9:07:38 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI  asked if other states  allowed for suspension                                                               
rather than revocation of a police certificate.                                                                                 
MR. PRESLEY said  there were 11 states that  allow for suspension                                                               
of a certificate.                                                                                                               
CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI  asked  how many  states  provided  polygraph                                                               
protection for police officers.                                                                                                 
MR. PRESLEY said that four states did.                                                                                          
SENATOR  GIESSEL  asked  if  the  bill  provided  for  additional                                                               
training for court service officers.                                                                                            
MR. PRESLEY  did not know if  it would require more  training; SB
198 allows  court service  officers to  receive training  that is                                                               
already in place.                                                                                                               
SENATOR GIESSEL  asked if  the court  officers would  be eligible                                                               
for a pay increment.                                                                                                            
MR. PRESLEY said he could not address that issue.                                                                               
SENATOR  GIESSEL  asked if  other  public  servants have  similar                                                               
protection of personal information.                                                                                             
MR. PRESLEY offered to find out.                                                                                                
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI noted the arrival of Senator Paskvan.                                                                        
9:10:21 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KOOKESH asked if a polygraph was done pre-employment.                                                                   
MR. PRESLEY  said he thought  pre-employment polygraphs  would be                                                               
allowed under the bill.                                                                                                         
SENATOR  KOOKESH asked  if University  of Alaska  campus security                                                               
personnel were covered under the legislation.                                                                                   
MR. PRESLEY said they were.                                                                                                     
SENATOR KOOKESH asked if there was any opposition to SB 198.                                                                    
MR.  PRESLEY spoke  of  concerns from  the  Department of  Public                                                               
Safety regarding termination issues and back pay.                                                                               
9:11:53 AM                                                                                                                    
TOM CLEMONS, Director of Alaska  Association of Chiefs of Police,                                                               
testified in opposition  to SB 198. He shared  his background and                                                               
the history  of the  Alaska Police  Standards Council  (APSC). He                                                               
related   that   APSC   provides  training,   high   professional                                                               
standards, and  help with  liability insurance  qualification. He                                                               
stated that  APSC has  no history of  being an  outside influence                                                               
trying to  tell police how to  do their job. APSC  maintains high                                                               
standards for  public safety officers  and wishes to  maintain an                                                               
honorable  standard  in  order  to  provide  professional  police                                                               
officers to  the state  and keep  the public's  respect. Officers                                                               
were not decertified  unless they reached a  level that warranted                                                               
that action. He shared a story about trusting police officers.                                                                  
9:17:49 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KOOKESH  asked  what  process was  used  to  enable  Mr.                                                               
Clemons  to represent  his organization  and testify  against the                                                               
MR.  CLEMONS said  there was  informal communication  amongst the                                                               
board members.                                                                                                                  
SENATOR KOOKESH requested more information.                                                                                     
MR. CLEMONS reiterated that an informal process was used.                                                                       
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI asked if Mr. Clemons  had had a change to read                                                               
all nine  sections of the  bill. He  asked if there  were certain                                                               
sections Mr. Clemons particularly disagreed with.                                                                               
CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI   summarized  Section  1  of   the  bill.  He                                                               
suggested  it   gives  the  option  of   suspension  rather  than                                                               
revocation, which he  termed the "death penalty"  for an officer.                                                               
He stated that Section 1 provided options.                                                                                      
MR. CLEMONS agreed that it  would provide APSC with more options;                                                               
however, most decertifications are  for more serious offenses. He                                                               
pointed  out that  there were  reciprocal  agreements with  other                                                               
states that recognize Alaska's decertification program.                                                                         
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI  urged Mr. Clemons  to rethink  his opposition                                                               
to Section 1. He maintained that it did not require suspension.                                                                 
He addressed Section  2, which deals with the  standard of "clear                                                               
and  convincing evidence."  He asked  Mr. Clemons  if he  thought                                                               
that standard should not apply.                                                                                                 
MR.  CLEMONS said  he  believed  the council  does  that now.  He                                                               
related  his  experience  on  the   review  committee  that  made                                                               
decisions on  decertification. He  emphasized that if  an officer                                                               
has  violated  the trust  of  the  public  he  or she  should  be                                                               
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI  agreed. He  argued that he  does not  want to                                                               
take  away licenses  unless  there  is a  standard  of proof.  He                                                               
explained  three   standards  of  proof:  preponderance   of  the                                                               
evidence, clear and convincing evidence,  and beyond a reasonable                                                               
doubt. He wondered  why putting this standard  into statute would                                                               
be a bad thing.                                                                                                                 
MR. CLEMONS  opined that unless  the violation reached  the level                                                               
of decertification it was not undertaken.                                                                                       
9:24:28 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI   explained  Section  3  which   says  in  an                                                               
arbitration  case  that  has been  reversed,  deference  to  that                                                               
decision must  be given.  He asked  if there  was a  problem with                                                               
MR. CLEMONS  talked about  collective bargaining  decisions which                                                               
might not  be related to  the violation. APSC is  only interested                                                               
in what the officer did.                                                                                                        
DAVE SEXTON, Executive Director,  Alaska Police Standards Council                                                               
(APSC), testified in opposition to  SB 198, which he said impacts                                                               
the  current policies  and  procedures of  APSC  and the  current                                                               
hiring and retention practices of  some law enforcement agencies.                                                               
He  summarized the  mission  statement of  APSC;  to produce  and                                                               
maintain  highly trained  and  positively motivated  professional                                                               
officers   capable  of   meeting  contemporary   law  enforcement                                                               
standards of  performance. He listed  the core  services provided                                                               
by APSC.  In cases of  misconduct by a certified  policy officer,                                                               
APSC  makes  a  determination  whether  certification  should  be                                                               
revoked. APSC  monitors compliance  with current  regulations and                                                               
legislation,  develops,  monitors,  and revises  law  enforcement                                                               
training, and assists academies  and departments with funding for                                                               
academy training. It funds specialized  and advanced training for                                                               
police  departments, determines  certificate eligibility  for all                                                               
police,  probation,  and  correctional officers,  and  issue  the                                                               
appropriate level of  certification. APSC provides pre-employment                                                               
polygraph and  psychological testing for smaller  agencies across                                                               
the state.                                                                                                                      
MR.  SEXTON   emphasized  that  SB  198   directly  affects  APSC                                                               
specifically  by  neutering  several  of the  core  services.  He                                                               
voiced   three   main   concerns.   The   first   was   regarding                                                               
certification. SB  198 would inhibit APSC's  ability to decertify                                                               
an  officer. He  stated  that  in the  last  ten  years, only  63                                                               
officers have been  decertified, a third of  which were voluntary                                                               
surrendered by  the officer. He  stressed that out of  3,000 only                                                               
40 had  their certificate taken. He  detailed the decertification                                                               
process  the council  uses. The  council  is made  of 13  members                                                               
selected  by the  governor and  affirmed by  the legislature.  He                                                               
termed  the board's  makeup as  balanced  and trustworthy,  whose                                                               
primary mission  is the protection  of Alaskan citizens.  He took                                                               
issue  with  the bill's  removing  the  board's independence  and                                                               
MR. SECTON  described the  second area  of concern  - the  use of                                                               
polygraphs. Currently,  the use  of polygraphs  is found  in pre-                                                               
employment and in investigative  situations. The bill attempts to                                                               
regulate  this.   He  said   he  was  not   aware  of   a  single                                                               
decertification decision that hinged on a polygraph test.                                                                       
MR. SEXTON addressed  a third concern in SB  198, the requirement                                                               
to cease providing photographs of  officers in action. Mr. Sexton                                                               
held up a  picture of officers who rescued a  12-year-old boy. If                                                               
the  language passes,  such  pictures could  not  be shared.  The                                                               
language  in the  bill prohibits  showing photos  of officers  in                                                               
positive situations.  He concluded  by stating that  APSC opposes                                                               
the legislation in its entirety.                                                                                                
9:33:28 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI thanked  Mr. Sexton  for his  service on  the                                                               
council.  He referred  to  Section 1  and asked  if  there was  a                                                               
specific problem.                                                                                                               
MR. SEXTON  agreed that Section  1 talks about  suspension rather                                                               
than revocation. He  noted the part APSC is opposed  to is having                                                               
to follow  the recommendation  of a decision  made in  a separate                                                               
employment  hearing. Under  this  bill, APSC  is  forced to  make                                                               
decisions  consistent  with  that  decision. A  strength  of  the                                                               
council is that it is  autonomous. Currently, APSC is required to                                                               
take  a  termination  recommendation  into account,  but  is  not                                                               
required to follow  it. He gave an example of  an officer who was                                                               
sleeping on duty and the  recommendation was for decertification.                                                               
The council disagreed and did not  follow up on it. He listed the                                                               
types of  decisions APSC takes under  recommendations when making                                                               
SENATOR PASKVAN referred  to Section 1, line 11,  and pointed out                                                               
that the wording is "may". It does not mandate anything.                                                                        
MR.  SEXTON  agreed, but  read,  "may  follow  the filing  of  an                                                               
accusation hearing  or decision  under Alaska statute  and revoke                                                               
the certificate of  a police officer." He  argued, "if revocation                                                               
is consistent with that decision."                                                                                              
SENATOR PASKVAN  disagreed. He  used the  example of  the officer                                                               
sleeping on the  job. The language says you may  have revoked the                                                               
certification if  it was  consistent with  the decision,  but you                                                               
didn't have to do it. He did  not think the word "may" would have                                                               
changed any of the past decertifications.                                                                                       
MR.  SEXTON said  he  understands  that the  second  part of  the                                                               
section negates the first part.                                                                                                 
SENATOR   PASKVAN  reiterated   that   he  reads   it  as   being                                                               
9:39:57 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   WIELECHOWSKI  questioned   Mr.  Sexton's   opposition  to                                                               
polygraph tests not  being used, when they have not  been used in                                                               
recent cases.                                                                                                                   
MR. SEXTON  clarified that polygraph's  are being used,  but have                                                               
not been crucial to council  decisions regarding revocation. They                                                               
have been used for pre-employment and investigation reasons.                                                                    
SENATOR KOOKESH  asked if an  arbitrator or a judge  reinstates a                                                               
police officer, can APSC still revoke the officer's certificate.                                                                
MR. SEXTON replied that APSC  could still revoke the certificate;                                                               
however, it considers broader standards beyond employment.                                                                      
SENATOR KOOKESH repeated the question.                                                                                          
MR. SEXTON said  judges don't rule on the same  issues APSC deals                                                               
SENATOR  KOOKESH said  he is  hearing  that APSC  feels like  the                                                               
legislature  is interfering  with APSC's  duties. He  pointed out                                                               
that APSC was created by the legislature.                                                                                       
MR.  SEXTON agreed  that  the legislature  has  the authority  to                                                               
offer  SB 198,  said he  has  been happy  with past  legislation.                                                               
However, this bill  takes away from the current  mission and core                                                               
services of APSC.                                                                                                               
9:44:06 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI stressed that the  bill does not gut what APSC                                                               
does;  it puts  sideboards on  APSC's  mission. He  asked if  Mr.                                                               
Sexton opposes  the section that  calls for higher  standards for                                                               
MR. SEXTON addressed the standards  of evidence in civil matters.                                                               
He said he agrees with some  things in the bill. However, nothing                                                               
in  current  legislation  uses "preponderance  of  evidence".  He                                                               
reiterated the  low numbers of  certificates taken away.  He said                                                               
he values  the ability to  keep one  class of officers  and treat                                                               
them all the same.                                                                                                              
SENATOR PASKVAN said he struggles  with APSC's appeal process. He                                                               
asked  if APSC  would follow  the recommendation  of a  judge who                                                               
determined an appeal was flawed.                                                                                                
MR. SEXTON  said certainly. He  explained how the  process works.                                                               
First, the executive director makes  a decision on an individual,                                                               
which can be appealed to the  board if someone disagrees with it.                                                               
If someone does  not agree with the board's decision,  then it is                                                               
appealed to the courts. This  bill injects itself into the middle                                                               
of  the  process  when  the decision  is  related  to  employment                                                               
SENATOR PASKVAN again  referred to the use of the  word "may" and                                                               
questioned how that would hurt APSC's process.                                                                                  
MR. SEXTON agreed with the  interpretation of the word "may," but                                                               
disagreed with the  sentence following it, which  he said removes                                                               
APSC's authority.                                                                                                               
9:49:44 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MEYER  requested an opinion  on including  court officers                                                               
in the bill.                                                                                                                    
MR. SEXTON did not have a problem with that.                                                                                    
SENATOR MEYER  asked if Village  Public Safety  Officers (VPSO's)                                                               
and bailiffs were already included in the bill.                                                                                 
MR. SEXTON  said the VPSO's  were included,  but he did  not know                                                               
about bailiffs.                                                                                                                 
SENATOR  MEYER wondered  how the  low number  of decertifications                                                               
compares with other states.                                                                                                     
MR.  SEXTON   didn't  know.  He   said  there  is   a  nationwide                                                               
organization that has that information.                                                                                         
9:51:50 AM                                                                                                                    
JAKE  METCALFE,  Executive   Director,  Public  Safety  Employees                                                               
Association (PSEA),  Local 803, testified  in support of  SB 198.                                                               
He  listed members  in  his organization.  He  maintained that  a                                                               
strong  APSC   protects  all  Alaskans.   He  said   he  believed                                                               
suspension or  revocation of a police  officer's certificate must                                                               
be based  on a high  standard of proof  and with due  process. SB
198   gives  the   council  additional   tools,  improves   their                                                               
standards,  and creates  a regulatory  system  that respects  due                                                               
MR.  METCALFE  agreed  with Senator  Paskvan's  understanding  of                                                               
Section 1.  He spoke  to the  issue of  prior decisions,  such as                                                               
employment or arbitration decisions,  and agreed that the council                                                               
should  be  involved.  He  gave an  example  of  the  termination                                                               
process and  spoke in support  of the council's  involvement with                                                               
the determination.  He also  agreed that  the middle  standard of                                                               
"clear and convincing evidence" be used in revocation process.                                                                  
He   highlighted  the   court  service   officers'  certification                                                               
requirements   in  the   bill,   and  agreed   with  the   bill's                                                               
interpretation. He addressed the  polygraph issue and agreed with                                                               
the provisions  in the bill regarding  pre-employment polygraphs.                                                               
He asked that the committee support  the part in Section 5 of the                                                               
bill  where  it says  agencies  can't  use the  police  officer's                                                               
refusal  to  submit to  a  lie  detector  test in  an  employment                                                               
action. In  Section 6,  PSEA supports the  part that  makes those                                                               
requests confidential.                                                                                                          
MR. METCALF  addressed Section 7  and gave examples  of voluntary                                                               
photos  and  information  that would  be  acceptable  under  this                                                               
9:59:10 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MEYER  asked if  court officers  are represented  by PSEA                                                               
and whether or not they were certified and adequately trained.                                                                  
MR. METCALF  explained that  court officers  are employed  by the                                                               
Department of  Public Safety, and through  certification provided                                                               
by  the  bill, they  will  receive  training. Some  have  already                                                               
received training.                                                                                                              
SENATOR MEYER asked how many court officers there were.                                                                         
MR. METCALF thought there were about 90.                                                                                        
SENATOR MEYER asked if court officers  could be shown on TV under                                                               
this legislation.                                                                                                               
MR.  METCALF explained  the requirements  under the  bill. It  is                                                               
more about the  police department submitting photos  and the need                                                               
for an agreement to do so.                                                                                                      
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI  said public  photos can be  put on  the news.                                                               
However, if  someone were  to request a  picture of  an arresting                                                               
officer, the  legislation says the  officer has an option  to say                                                               
no. He asked if officers have received threats.                                                                                 
MR. METCALF referred to an  example about militia members staking                                                               
out troopers,  judges, and other federal  officials in Fairbanks.                                                               
There is concern about protecting  the privacy of officers. Small                                                               
communities present greater risks.                                                                                              
10:03:55 AM                                                                                                                   
CHRIS  GIFFORD,   Municipal  Chapter  President,   Public  Safety                                                               
Employees  Association, and  Sergeant, Juneau  Police Department,                                                               
spoke  in  support of  SB  198.  He said  the  bill  is fair  and                                                               
contains due process. It would  raise the standard of revocation.                                                               
He  stated  support  for  the   certification  of  court  service                                                               
officers. He gave a personal example  of a police officer who was                                                               
harassed and  photos were  not released in  order to  protect the                                                               
officer.  He thought  releasing  personal  information or  photos                                                               
could be a safety issue for officers.                                                                                           
10:07:09 AM                                                                                                                   
JAY  SEARS,  Alaska State  Trooper  and  Western Vice  President,                                                               
Public Safety Employees Association  (PSEA), testified in support                                                               
of SB 198.  He stated support for  every part of SB  198 and said                                                               
it corrects some of the  issues facing public safety employees in                                                               
Alaska.  He discussed  APSC certification  which  he termed  "the                                                               
ticket that  allows you to  become a police officer."  It affects                                                               
all  50  states.  He  said  PSEA  was  not  in  the  business  of                                                               
protecting  bad officers,  but  did support  a  fair process.  He                                                               
spoke  of  the  double  jeopardy with  the  APSC  decertification                                                               
board.  He thought  APSC's  revoking of  a  certificate after  an                                                               
officer has  been through  the hearing  process and  been awarded                                                               
back the certificate, was double  jeopardy. He compared it to the                                                               
military. He said he was not disputing the competency of APSC.                                                                  
SENATOR  GIESSEL said  she was  trying to  find out  what in  the                                                               
decertification  process  was  broken. She  summarized  what  Mr.                                                               
Sears  said about  double jeopardy;  an officer  could have  been                                                               
exonerated   by  the   Supreme   Court  and   could  still   lose                                                               
certification due to a decision by APSC.                                                                                        
MR. GIFFORD said that was correct.  One such case is coming up in                                                               
APSC's May meeting.                                                                                                             
SENATOR GIESSEL asked if that scenario had ever happened.                                                                       
MR. GIFFORD  did not know.  He suggested Senator Giessel  ask Mr.                                                               
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI agreed with Mr. Gifford's analysis.                                                                          
10:13:55 AM                                                                                                                   
MARK MEW,  Anchorage Chief  of Police  and Member,  Alaska Police                                                               
Standards Council (APSC),  testified in opposition to  SB 198. He                                                               
spoke of the importance of keeping  the public's trust. Once in a                                                               
while there  are "bad  apples" and  the police  have to  have the                                                               
tools to  deal with  them. He  gave examples  of recent  cases in                                                               
CHIEF  MEW did  not see  a problem  with the  ability to  suspend                                                               
found  in  Section  1.  He suggested  clearing  up  the  language                                                               
surrounding  the word  "may." He  opined that  in Section  2, the                                                               
burden of  proof should remain  at the civil level.  Using "clear                                                               
and  convincing evidence"  raises  it to  the "reasonable  doubt"                                                               
standard.  He said  he  thought that  the  existing standard  was                                                               
CHIEF MEW addressed Section 3  and compared it other professions,                                                               
such as medicine, where a  physician might be exonerated in court                                                               
from a crime, but have his  or her license revoked by a licensing                                                               
board of physicians. He maintained  that the bill would eliminate                                                               
the  council's ability  to decertify  police officers  in similar                                                               
instances. He  did not think  the council  should be bound  by an                                                               
arbitrator's decision. He could think  of two examples of when an                                                               
officer was decertified against the arbitrator's wish.                                                                          
CHIEF MEW addressed the polygraph issue  in Section 5 of the bill                                                               
and  maintained that  the ability  to compel  a polygraph  should                                                               
remain. He  opined that  it has  not been  done in  Anchorage. He                                                               
called it a "nuclear deterrent."                                                                                                
10:25:14 AM                                                                                                                   
THOMAS  ROBSON,  Court  Services   Officer  (CSO),  Alaska  State                                                               
Troopers, and Member, Public  Safety Employees Association (PSEA)                                                               
testified  in  support of  SB  198.  He  commented on  Section  4                                                               
regarding  certifying court  service officers.  The training  for                                                               
CSO's has varied  greatly over the past 20 years.  The bill would                                                               
ensure that  minimum training standards are  established. He said                                                               
there  are  currently  60  officers stationed  in  11  cities  in                                                               
Alaska. He noted  that CSO's perform functions  that are normally                                                               
associated with  a sheriff's department,  but unlike  a sheriff's                                                               
department, these  officers operate statewide. In  addition CSO's                                                               
travel to the other 49  states to retrieve Alaskan fugitives. The                                                               
three  primary  functions  of CSO's  are  the  transportation  of                                                               
prisoners, the service  of court orders, and the  security of the                                                               
court facilities.                                                                                                               
10:28:22 AM                                                                                                                   
JEFFERY  MITTMAN, Executive  Director,  American Civil  Liberties                                                               
Union (ACLU) of Alaska, voiced  concern about sections of SB 198.                                                               
He said  he had provided  written testimony to the  committee. He                                                               
addressed  the  need   for  a  more  narrow   definition  of  the                                                               
confidentiality issue.                                                                                                          
AARON  DANIELSON,  President,  Airport Police  and  Fire  Officer                                                               
(APFO),  Vice  President,  Public  Safety  Employees  Association                                                               
(PSEA)  testified  in support  SB  198.  He reported  about  past                                                               
dealings  with the  bill  in  the 90's  in  order  for APFO's  to                                                               
receive APSC  certification. He  did not believe  that pay  was a                                                               
factor in the legislation.                                                                                                      
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI said that SB 198 would be set aside.                                                                         
10:30:40 AM                                                                                                                   
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair Wielechowski  adjourned the  Senate State  Affairs Standing                                                               
Committee at 10:30 p.m.                                                                                                         

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