Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/06/1996 01:30 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
 SL&C 2/6/96                                                                   
        SB 227 POLICE CAN INTERCEPT SOME COMMUNICATIONS                       
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN KELLY called the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee               
 meeting to order at 1:30 p.m. and announced  SB 227  to be up for             
 consideration.                                                                
                                                                               
 LT. DENNIS CASANOVAS, State Trooper, supported SB 227, because it             
 will grant Alaska law enforcement officers additional resources to            
 deal with crisis situations, such as barricaded suspects and                  
 hostages.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Currently, law enforcement officers respond to such incidents                 
 without a clear understanding of the number or identity of                    
 participants, the types of weapons or explosives that may be                  
 available, the number of hostages, and the extent of injuries to              
 people involved.                                                              
                                                                               
 These rapidly changing circumstances rely heavily upon what                   
 information law enforcement negotiators can quickly learn from                
 near-by witnesses and/or from the suspect, should he wish to                  
 communicate with the police.                                                  
                                                                               
 LT. CASANOVAS said the Alaska State Troopers respond to                       
 approximately four incidents per year wherein a suspect refuses to            
 exist to surrender or exit at the direction of the police officer.            
                                                                               
 Number 61                                                                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR TORGERSON asked what procedures were used now.  LT.                   
 CASANOVAS said that although AS 12.37.010, interception of private            
 communication, is in place and available, the proceedings to get              
 court approval are cumbersome and only apply to a certain set of              
 offenses, like first and second degree murder and kidnapping, etc.            
                                                                               
 SENATOR TORGERSON asked if these communications can be used as                
 evidence against whoever it is you are after?  LT. CASANOVAS said             
 they hoped they could be used in a criminal preceding.                        
                                                                               
 SENATOR TORGERSON said he was a little nervous about letting these            
 communications be used as evidence without the proper procedures.             
 SENATOR MILLER noted that this bill would next go to Senate                   
 Judiciary which is chaired by Senator Taylor, a former judge.  He             
 said that was an area he would look at strongly.                              
                                                                               
 Number 115                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER moved to pass SB 227 from committee with individual            
 recommendations.  There were no objections and it was so ordered.             

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