Legislature(1995 - 1996)

1996-01-19 Senate Journal

Full Journal pdf

1996-01-19                     Senate Journal                      Page 2177
SB 227                                                                       
SENATE BILL NO. 227 BY THE SENATE RULES COMMITTEE                              
BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR, entitled:                                          

1996-01-19                     Senate Journal                      Page 2178
SB 227                                                                       
An Act relating to an exemption to the                                        
unauthorized publication or use of communications                              
and the prohibition against eavesdropping for certain                          
law enforcement activities.                                                    
was read the first time and referred to the Labor and Commerce and             
Judiciary Committees.                                                          
Zero fiscal notes published today from Department of Public Safety,            
Department of Law, Department of Administration (2), Department                
of Corrections, Department of Commerce and Economic                            
Governors transmittal letter dated January 19:                                 
Dear President Pearce:                                                         
Under the authority of art. III, sec. 18, of the Alaska Constitution,          
I am transmitting a bill that amends statutes regarding the                    
unauthorized publication or use of communications and                          
eavesdropping, in order to allow law enforcement officers to intercept         
communications in certain emergency situations.                                
Current law prohibits surreptitious eavesdropping on a private                 
conversation without the consent of one of the parties to the                  
conversation.  In an emergency (for example, where a suspect is                
barricaded with a hostage), law enforcement officers need to                   
communicate with the suspect and, if possible, monitor the suspect's           
communications with others.  Monitoring such communications can                
give valuable information to law enforcement officers to help defuse           
potentially dangerous situations.                                              
This bill provides the exemption necessary for law enforcement                 
officers to surreptitiously monitor these communications.  It allows           
the interception of communications of a suspect barricaded and                 
refusing to surrender, holding a victim hostage, or threatening the            
imminent illegal use of an explosive. The exemption in the bill is             
limited to serious police emergencies; it will not otherwise affect the        
privacy of individual Alaskans.                                                

1996-01-19                     Senate Journal                      Page 2179
SB 227                                                                       
This legislation will support law enforcement agencies in making               
Alaska a safer place for our citizens.  I  urge your prompt                    
consideration and passage of this bill.                                        
						Tony Knowles