Legislature(2021 - 2022)DAVIS 106

04/15/2021 08:00 AM House TRIBAL AFFAIRS

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08:02:21 AM Start
08:03:00 AM Presentation(s): Rural Public Safety Update
09:51:06 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation: Rural Public Safety Update TELECONFERENCED
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
           HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON TRIBAL AFFAIRS                                                                          
                         April 15, 2021                                                                                         
                           8:02 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Tiffany Zulkosky, Chair                                                                                          
Representative Dan Ortiz                                                                                                        
Representative Zack Fields                                                                                                      
Representative Geran Tarr                                                                                                       
Representative Mike Cronk                                                                                                       
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION(S):  RURAL PUBLIC SAFETY UPDATE                                                                                    
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
APAY'UK MOORE                                                                                                                   
Aleknagik, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided invited testimony during the                                                                    
presentation on rural public safety.                                                                                            
JAMES COCKRELL, Commissioner Designee                                                                                           
Department of Public Safety (DPS)                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided invited testimony during the                                                                    
presentation on rural public safety.                                                                                            
LEONARD WALLNER, VPSO Program Manager & Coordinator                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided invited testimony during the                                                                    
presentation on rural public safety.                                                                                            
VIVIAN KORTHUIS, Chief Executive Officer                                                                                        
Association of Village Council Presidents (AVCP)                                                                                
Bethel, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Provided  invited  testimony  during  the                                                             
presentation on rural public safety.                                                                                            
JASON WILSON, Public Safety Manager, VPSO Program                                                                               
Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Provided  invited  testimony  during  the                                                             
presentation on rural public safety.                                                                                            
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
8:02:21 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  TIFFANY ZULKOSKY  called  the House  Special Committee  on                                                             
Tribal Affairs  meeting to  order at  8:02 a.m.   Representatives                                                               
Cronk, Ortiz,  and Zulkosky  were present at  the call  to order.                                                               
Representatives Fields  and Tarr  arrived as  the meeting  was in                                                               
^PRESENTATION(S):  Rural Public Safety Update                                                                                   
          PRESENTATION(S):  Rural Public Safety Update                                                                      
8:03:00 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR ZULKOSKY  announced that the  only order of  business would                                                               
be  invited  testimony  on  the  topic  of  rural  public  safety                                                               
[provided by Ms. Apay'uk Moore,  Commissioner James Cockrell, Mr.                                                               
Leonard  Wallner, Ms.  Vivian Korthuis,  and  Mr. James  Wilson].                                                               
She requested the first invited  witness, Ms. Moore, to state the                                                               
name of her community.                                                                                                          
8:04:04 AM                                                                                                                    
APAY'UK MOORE,  stated she  is from  the community  of Aleknagik.                                                               
Responding further  to Chair  Zulkosky, she  said the  village of                                                               
Aleknagik  has  under  300  full-time  residents  year-round,  is                                                               
located 20  miles outside  of Dillingham and  350 air  miles from                                                               
Anchorage and is accessed by plane or road from Dillingham.                                                                     
CHAIR  ZULKOSKY   inquired  about  the  existing   public  safety                                                               
presence  within  Aleknagik and  Ms.  Moore's  experience on  the                                                               
night described  in her written testimony,  provided to committee                                                               
members, when she had to call for public safety support.                                                                        
MS.  MOORE responded  that presently  there is  no public  safety                                                               
despite Aleknagik  being just a  30-minute drive  from Dillingham                                                               
which has a police department  and an Alaska State Troopers post.                                                               
She related  that according  to the  city council  it is  hard to                                                               
find  applicants,  and explained  it  is  difficult for  a  local                                                               
person  to occupy  that position  given the  social dynamics  and                                                               
controversies  that arise  when punishing  community members  who                                                               
are  in  close-knit families.    She  said  it was  an  awakening                                                               
experience when  she dialed  911 and  was told  she could  not be                                                               
helped because she was out of  city limits, nor could her call be                                                               
transferred to the  next possible safety option.   Instead, while                                                               
shaking and terrified as the man  circled her house trying to get                                                               
in, she  had to  find a  pen and  paper to  write down  the phone                                                               
number for the troopers.  She  stated it was a sobering moment to                                                               
realize how self-reliant she was going to have to be.                                                                           
8:07:39 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR ZULKOSKY  asked whether a  public safety official  was able                                                               
to appear at Ms. Moore's home following this break-in attempt.                                                                  
MS. MOORE answered, "No, not that  night."  She said she was able                                                               
to contact  neighbors who  then helped help  fix the  window that                                                               
was broken  by the intruder and  clear the area to  make sure the                                                               
intruder  wasn't  hiding  in  the basement  or  near  the  house.                                                               
Another neighbor invited her to  stay at their place, she stated,                                                               
at which point she shut down the house and left.                                                                                
CHAIR  ZULKOSKY inquired  about Ms.  Moore's later  conversations                                                               
with a trooper.                                                                                                                 
MS.  MOORE   replied  she  had  several   interactions;  the  one                                                               
described in  her testimony  was over the  phone and  the trooper                                                               
later came to  her property.  During the initial  phone call, she                                                               
related,  she  felt unheard  and  stereotyped  as emotional  even                                                               
though she  tried to  portray herself  as an  educated individual                                                               
and urged  the trooper  to not  stereotype and  demean her.   The                                                               
trooper's demeanor changed  when he later saw her  in person, she                                                               
stated, because  she has  brown hair and  light skin  and doesn't                                                               
look Native.   As she walked around with the  trooper, she was in                                                               
disbelief  at the  victim blaming  and being  told she  shouldn't                                                               
have windows and shouldn't have  equipment visible.  The point in                                                               
having the trooper there, she  continued, was because someone had                                                               
broken into her house, not to  have a property evaluation of what                                                               
she  was doing  wrong  and what  she was  doing  to make  herself                                                               
appealing to criminals.                                                                                                         
8:11:20 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR ZULKOSKY shared  that she and Ms.  Moore recently discussed                                                               
that it  doesn't necessarily mean  there needs to be  more public                                                               
safety or  law enforcement individuals available  in a community.                                                               
She requested Ms. Moore's perspective  on what types of resources                                                               
or  considerations  should  or  could  be  made  to  improve  the                                                               
experience  she had  while seeking  support in  what felt  like a                                                               
life endangering moment.                                                                                                        
MS.  MOORE responded  that for  preventative  measures, it  isn't                                                               
necessarily that  more law  enforcement is  needed.   She related                                                               
that people  in Igiugig, a  remote village with no  public safety                                                               
officer, have told  her that Igiugig's strategy is  to let people                                                               
know  they  are  not  going  to  be  tolerated  if  they  conduct                                                               
themselves in  ways that are  not contributing to  the community.                                                               
She related that the trooper said  people in rural Alaska must be                                                               
as self-reliant as possible, and  while she understands that, she                                                               
questioned why  troopers are  based in  these rural  locations as                                                               
false pillars  for safety.   She questioned  why, if people  in a                                                               
community must  defend themselves, they  are not being  helped to                                                               
organize  a  backup safety  plan  instead  of being  given  phone                                                               
numbers advertised  to call  for safety.   Phone trees  have been                                                               
mentioned,  she said,  but there  have been  no meetings  to help                                                               
people  understand  that.   She  suggested  that if  there  isn't                                                               
funding  for  full-time jobs  for  people  to  be living  in  the                                                               
communities, then annual self-defense classes should be offered.                                                                
MS.  MOORE continued  her response.   She  noted that  the person                                                               
attacking her  home was  a young  man.   Studies have  shown, she                                                               
pointed  out, that  recreational activities  can be  preventative                                                               
for  youth getting  into trouble  and choosing  a criminal  path.                                                               
Ensuring  that communities  have  safe  basketball courts,  among                                                               
other things,  costs less  than full salaries.   She  pointed out                                                               
that in  her specific experience  everything was wrong:   911 was                                                               
wrong, the training she received to  call for help failed, and no                                                               
one was punished for the crime.                                                                                                 
CHAIR  ZULKOSKY requested  Commissioner Cockrell  to provide  his                                                               
invited testimony and  an update on the work  that the Department                                                               
of Public Safety has been doing  on rural public safety since his                                                               
8:16:24 AM                                                                                                                    
JAMES  COCKRELL,  Commissioner  Designee,  Department  of  Public                                                               
Safety (DPS), provided invited  testimony during the presentation                                                               
on rural public safety.  He  stated that he came to the committee                                                               
to listen because  to make things better the needs  of the people                                                               
being served  must be known;  it cannot  be based solely  on what                                                               
DPS thinks as a department.   He applauded Ms. Moore's courage to                                                               
come  forward   with  testimony   and  documentation   about  her                                                               
encounter  with  the  Alaska  State  Troopers,  and  said  he  is                                                               
disappointed she had a negative  encounter because the department                                                               
needs  to  strive to  leave  a  victim  and  even those  who  are                                                               
arrested with a positive feeling.                                                                                               
COMMISSIONER  COCKRELL specified  that rural  law enforcement  in                                                               
Alaska is a difficult task  for state troopers and village public                                                               
safety officers  (VPSOs).  He said  he has been to  Aleknagik and                                                               
is familiar  with the  region and  that at one  time there  was a                                                               
VPSO.   He  stated  that law  enforcement  in Alaska's  villages,                                                               
whether  troopers or  VPSOs, does  matter and  there most  likely                                                               
would have been a response had there been a VPSO.                                                                               
8:19:28 AM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER COCKRELL  expressed his commitment to  improving DPS                                                               
services in  rural Alaska  because rural  law enforcement  is the                                                               
heart and  soul of Alaska State  Troopers and is why  there is an                                                               
Alaska  State Troopers.   He  stated that  over the  years Alaska                                                               
State Troopers  has gotten  tied up  in the  growth of  the urban                                                               
areas, which  has taken  some resources  away from  rural Alaska.                                                               
The Alaska State Troopers represent  rural Alaska and the state's                                                               
government, and  when troopers show up  to a village it  is a ray                                                               
of hope that  the crime will be solved, and  the perpetrator will                                                               
be taken out of the village.                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER COCKRELL related that DPS  wants troopers to go to a                                                               
village to interact  and spend time, not just  to arrest someone.                                                               
He explained that sometimes it's  difficult because the caseloads                                                               
are heavy,  especially in the  Yukon-Kuskokwim (YK) Delta.   Many                                                               
troopers are  in "hub  areas" so  that they  can spread  out with                                                               
aircraft  and  vessels to  get  to  the  villages.   Finding  the                                                               
infrastructure to  house the VPSOs  and even  providing telephone                                                               
and  internet  services  is difficult,  he  continued,  which  is                                                               
probably one  reason for the  high turnover rate.   He reiterated                                                               
his commitment  to improving the professional  law enforcement of                                                               
Alaska State Troopers  in rural Alaska and reiterated  that he is                                                               
sorry about Ms. Moore's experience with the agency.                                                                             
8:22:34 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS  thanked the  commissioner for  his service                                                               
and commitment.   He noted the  decline in [the number  of] VPSOs                                                               
and  inquired  about  the commissioner's  vision  for  ultimately                                                               
having public  safety in  every community.   He  further inquired                                                               
about exploring  other options, such as  partnerships with tribal                                                               
entities  to  empower  local  communities  if  the  state  cannot                                                               
provide law enforcement.  He offered  his hope for setting a goal                                                               
of law enforcement in every community.                                                                                          
COMMISSIONER  COCKRELL  replied that  in  addition  to VPSOs  the                                                               
department runs  the academies for  village police officers.   He                                                               
stated that if  funding can be found,  there is a lot  of room to                                                               
get tribal police officers to  at least handle the tribal aspects                                                               
of violations since each tribe has  its culture and sets of rules                                                               
to follow.   He related  that former Governor Parnell's  goal was                                                               
to put  120 VPSOs  on the ground;  the number got  up to  116 but                                                               
then there  were cuts in the  VPSO Program and it  became hard to                                                               
start  recruiting VPSOs.   He  advised that  a look  needs to  be                                                               
taken at  different avenues to entice  VPSOs to stay on  the job,                                                               
as  well  as  increasing  VPSO  salaries  because  they  live  in                                                               
villages  where things  are more  expensive and  must often  fund                                                               
their own housing and own  phones.  Commissioner Cockrell pointed                                                               
out that  VPSO training is  at the Alaska State  Trooper Academy,                                                               
which  provides  consistency  when  doing  investigations,  gives                                                               
troopers and municipal police officers  a better understanding of                                                               
what  the VPSO  Program is  and  lets them  integrate and  engage                                                               
prior to graduating  from the academy, and puts the  VPSO on more                                                               
equal  ground with  the  trooper.   He  said  he  hopes this  can                                                               
continue, but  a way needs  to be found  to keep up  the numbers.                                                               
He  noted that  village police  officers provide  vital roles  in                                                               
their villages but are not  actually police officers under Alaska                                                               
police  standards because  they  don't  meet the  qualifications,                                                               
which  affects what  they are  allowed to  do.   While there  are                                                               
options, Commissioner Cockrell continued,  everybody will need to                                                               
think  out of  the box  to figure  out the  best option.   It  is                                                               
imperative  to  include  nonprofits,  tribes,  and  villages,  he                                                               
added, because they are the  ones being affected by either having                                                               
or not having law enforcement.                                                                                                  
8:27:59 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ pointed out  that Ketchikan has both trooper                                                               
and city  police protection,  whereas Hydaburg  doesn't presently                                                               
have a VPSO,  and the closest trooper is a  good distance away in                                                               
Craig.   He  asked whether  there is  a prioritization  that says                                                               
where  the department's  limited  resources will  be deployed  to                                                               
provide the overall best protection possible.                                                                                   
COMMISSIONER  COCKRELL responded  that  the  department does  not                                                               
have  a strategic  map which  says how  DPS resources  are to  be                                                               
prioritized; rather  he equates it  to a chessboard where  DPS is                                                               
always moving things around.   There is no continuity, he stated,                                                               
for  example in  the last  four years  he has  worked under  five                                                               
commissioners and since  he left there have  been three colonels.                                                               
Without  that  continuity  it's  hard  to  have  a  strategy,  he                                                               
explained, plus  there is the  yearly cycle of budgets  where DPS                                                               
never knows what its yearly budget  is going to be.  For example,                                                               
one  year while  he was  a  colonel $10  million was  cut and  32                                                               
trooper  positions had  to be  eliminated  in less  than a  year.                                                               
Therefore, he advised,  it is hard to sit down  with an objective                                                               
strategy to  decide where  the department's  resources are,  so a                                                               
lot of it comes from the call  volumes.  While he was colonel, he                                                               
continued, he  pulled the troopers  out of the Seward  Highway to                                                               
Girdwood, he didn't fill the  trooper position in Haines based on                                                               
crime  status  statistics,  and  Ketchikan  has  been  discussed.                                                               
Commissioner  Cockrell  said he  has  about  44 troopers  in  the                                                               
Matanuska-Susitna Valley and as that  area grows the call volumes                                                               
go  up; more  cases were  handled per  trooper in  the Matanuska-                                                               
Susitna Valley than per trooper anywhere  else in the state.  The                                                               
bottom line,  he advised,  is that DPS  doesn't have  a strategy,                                                               
the  department takes  the information  available, and  a lot  is                                                               
reactive, and it changes yearly.                                                                                                
8:34:07 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ asked whether  there has been any historical                                                               
ability for the  troopers to communicate on a  regular basis with                                                               
municipalities  to  work together  and  cooperate  on an  overall                                                               
strategy.    He  further  asked   whether  there  are  any  tools                                                               
available to  get a better  participation from  local communities                                                               
that  choose not  to  have  local municipal  police  and so  rely                                                               
totally on  state troopers for  their public safety,  where other                                                               
communities choose to pitch in with support and city police.                                                                    
COMMISSIONER COCKRELL  answered he doesn't have  the authority to                                                               
tell a  community that  it must provide  police services  and tax                                                               
its citizens.   He  said the  department certainly  works closely                                                               
with its local partners; for  example, DPS supports the Anchorage                                                               
Police Department  (APD) from helicopters to  investigative tools                                                               
and brings  the APD's crime  techs into the  DPS crime lab.   The                                                               
City of Wasilla,  he continued, picks the low crime  areas of the                                                               
city, which  leaves the Alaska  State Troopers having to  spend a                                                               
substantial  amount  of  time  dealing   with  the  other  areas.                                                               
Wasilla  and Palmer  could expand  their city  limit, but  nobody                                                               
wants  to pay  taxes, and  for Ketchikan  there could  be borough                                                               
police.   Soldotna and  Kenai could  certainly look  at expanding                                                               
their city  limits; Soldotna is  trying to  do this but  is being                                                               
fought hard.   He said that if  at some point the  state wants to                                                               
[give that authority]  the legislature and governor  will have to                                                               
push that, but until then DPS  will still provide free service to                                                               
most of the state.                                                                                                              
8:38:40 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR, regarding  retention and  providing housing                                                               
for recruitment,  pointed out that [federal]  recovery funds have                                                               
been talked  about as jobs  bills, so  it seems like  a strategic                                                               
opportunity  and priority  for  a public  safety investment  that                                                               
also  puts people  back to  work.   She  suggested the  committee                                                               
write a  letter in  this regard.   She recalled  the commissioner                                                               
stating that  at one  point the  state had  116 VPSOs  during the                                                               
time when  the goal  was 120  and asked where  that number  is at                                                               
today.  She further asked what  the commissioner has been able to                                                               
do in terms of adding troopers.                                                                                                 
COMMISSIONER COCKRELL replied  that to get troopers  and VPSOs to                                                               
the  villages and  smaller communities  they  must have  adequate                                                               
housing.   He  said the  department has  a state  housing program                                                               
where DPS manages housing in rural  areas for its troopers.  Much                                                               
of the  housing is not  acceptable compared to what  troopers are                                                               
used to  living in.  The  only way the department  can entice its                                                               
troopers to  go to rural  areas is  to have adequate  support for                                                               
them  when  they get  there,  which  includes housing  for  their                                                               
families.   Since  he started  with  the department  in 1983,  he                                                               
related, DPS has struggled with  adequate housing in rural areas,                                                               
and so has  the VPSO Program.  He said  the Alaska State Troopers                                                               
could  not function  without the  VPSO Program,  and he  is super                                                               
supportive of the VPSO Program  because it is mission-critical to                                                               
the department.  He said DPS has  52 VPSOs and he can provide the                                                               
committee with a list of the communities with VPSOs.                                                                            
8:42:44 AM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER  COCKRELL,  responding   further  to  Representative                                                               
Tarr, said the department still  struggles with recruiting.  Last                                                               
year DPS  hired 36  new troopers and  33 left for  a net  gain of                                                               
three.  Currently,  he continued, 200 are "in the  hopper" but to                                                               
get a  class of 20-30  DPS needs  between 800 and  1,200 recruits                                                               
signed up and going through the  process.  The department lost $3                                                               
million  this year,  so didn't  fill all  its trooper  positions.                                                               
The department  must have significant and  consistent funding, he                                                               
advised, for  DPS to plan  to hire troopers.   Given the  cost of                                                               
training a trooper,  the best thing is to retain  that trooper by                                                               
taking care  of the  quality-of-life issues.   He  explained that                                                               
the  more troopers  DPS has  on  the road  or in  the field,  the                                                               
higher their quality of life when  they are off duty.  Otherwise,                                                               
they  are  working   lots  of  overtime,  are   on  standby,  and                                                               
overloaded with cases, so they  become report writers and are not                                                               
adequately investigating the crimes.   This is especially seen in                                                               
the Matanuska-Susitna  Valley.   This needs to  be fixed  and the                                                               
only way  to fix it is  to have consistent funding,  he stressed.                                                               
A  retirement  system  needs  to be  brought  back  for  Alaska's                                                               
troopers or law enforcement.   Commissioner Cockrell related that                                                               
in everybody's career, including his  own, there are dark periods                                                               
of struggle and what keeps everyone going is knowing that in 25-                                                                
30 years they  can retire, along with knowing that  if injured on                                                               
the job  they will be  taken care of.   But that isn't  had right                                                               
now, he pointed out, and that needs to get fixed.                                                                               
8:45:53 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  ORTIZ inquired  about  the  roadblocks for  those                                                               
VPSOs  who have  the  legal  right to  carry  a  weapon in  their                                                               
duties, but  somehow in the  process are  not allowed to  carry a                                                               
weapon even though they have the legal right to do so.                                                                          
COMMISSIONER COCKRELL confirmed there is  a law to carry firearms                                                               
but  said there  is a  process.   He explained  that, first,  the                                                               
agency sponsoring the VPSO must  decide that it's willing to take                                                               
the liability  risk to  arm its VPSO  because the  liabilities go                                                               
way up.   Then, by law, the VPSO must  go through a psychological                                                               
test  which entails  a process  for DPS  to make  that happen,  a                                                               
process with  which DPS  struggles.   He stated  that DPS  is not                                                               
trying to  hinder the VPSO's ability  to carry a firearm.   If he                                                               
was a  VPSO in  a village,  he added,  he would  want to  carry a                                                               
firearm because  pretty much  everybody in Alaska  is armed.   He                                                               
recounted that  when he was a  colonel, maybe two of  the 50-plus                                                               
VPSOs were armed.  He further  explained that DPS must engage the                                                               
not-for-profits to ensure  they are on board with  assuming a lot                                                               
more risk because VPSOs are not state employees.                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ took the commissioner's  answer to mean that                                                               
the  local  providers  must  be  willing to  take  on  a  greater                                                               
liability  risk, so  ultimately  a greater  financial burden  for                                                               
liability insurance.  He surmised this to be the main roadblock.                                                                
COMMISSIONER  COCKRELL deferred  to Jason  Wilson for  an answer.                                                               
He  said  that  when  an  organization  provides  a  firearm  its                                                               
liabilities, costs, and potential for lawsuits go up.                                                                           
8:49:40 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CRONK  shared that  when  he  was a  teacher,  he                                                               
welcomed  troopers into  the  school to  show  students that  the                                                               
troopers are  humans.  He said  the question is how  to get local                                                               
people to  want to do those  VPSO jobs, and related  that some of                                                               
the most successful troopers he has  seen were the ones living in                                                               
and  involved with  the  community and  who  provided a  positive                                                               
presence.  While the nationwide view  of police is not very good,                                                               
he  said, Alaska's  troopers and  police force  are held  in high                                                               
esteem.  He  suggested that for housing the  state should partner                                                               
with the villages and regional  corporations to build the housing                                                               
and then  the state leases  the buildings.  Building  the housing                                                               
would provide  jobs in  the villages,  he added,  and would  be a                                                               
win-win because  [the villages or  corporations] would  still own                                                               
the building rather than the state.                                                                                             
COMMISSIONER COCKRELL  responded that  troopers in the  field are                                                               
the best  recruiters because  they have  [personal] contact.   He                                                               
said most  of the  housing in  rural areas  is leased  from local                                                               
people in the villages, rather than the state owning them.                                                                      
8:53:33 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   FIELDS   thanked   the  commissioner   for   his                                                               
comprehensive  vision  on  getting adequate  enforcement  in  the                                                               
field through workload, quality  of life, housing, and retirement                                                               
[benefits].  He  asked whether as much as possible  is being done                                                               
to recruit  from across the  state, and whether  the commissioner                                                               
sees opportunities for  improvement so that DPS  employees are as                                                               
reflective  of the  state  as possible.    He concurred  Alaskans                                                               
support  their police  and troopers  and said  he would  like the                                                               
strongest recruitment program possible.                                                                                         
COMMISSIONER  COCKRELL answered  that  the goal  is  to obtain  a                                                               
trooper force that  is reflective of Alaska's  population, and to                                                               
do that  recruitment must be from  within.  He related  that when                                                               
he went through  the academy in 1983 there were  38 recruits, and                                                               
all  were Alaska  residents.   That  has changed  over the  years                                                               
probably due largely  to economic reasons, he  advised.  Alaskans                                                               
are not  stepping up to  be Alaska State  Troopers and a  fix for                                                               
that needs to be found.                                                                                                         
8:55:10 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  ZULKOSKY noted  that  there has  recently  been a  tenuous                                                               
bright line, whether intentional  or unintentional, that seems to                                                               
indicate  a stark  difference of  perspective within  DPS between                                                               
state  troopers  and  VPSOs,  particularly  with  the  department                                                               
having so many  resources while VPSOs can only get  so much.  She                                                               
offered  her  hope  that  the  bright line  will  grow  dim  with                                                               
Commissioner  Cockrell's leadership  and commitment  to the  VPSO                                                               
Program, and  that there  will be a  shared interest  between the                                                               
state  and the  tribal  non-profits managing  these programs  and                                                               
employing the VPSOs.  She  requested the commissioner to speak to                                                               
his vision of how to improve  that dynamic of VPSOs not being DPS                                                               
employees but helping to carry out the [DPS] mission.                                                                           
COMMISSIONER COCKRELL  replied that there  is always going  to be                                                               
inherent conflict whenever there are  two competing agencies.  He                                                               
said it is  important that the department  communicate openly and                                                               
honestly  with the  non-profits running  the VPSO  Program.   The                                                               
department is responsible  for providing the funding  to the VPSO                                                               
Program  as well  as for  auditing the  program, he  added.   The                                                               
sticking point  between DPS  and all  the not-for-profits  is how                                                               
much money  DPS is  going to give  them and how  DPS is  going to                                                               
give them  the money.  He  recounted that the department  used to                                                               
have one coordinator in Anchorage  overseeing the program, but it                                                               
has since been decentralized and  now it is the responsibility of                                                               
individual detachments.   The biggest  key is  understanding that                                                               
both  have important  missions that  are  interconnected all  the                                                               
time, he  continued.  The department  is kind of the  big brother                                                               
given  its statutory  authority within  the state,  and DPS  must                                                               
ensure it is treating the VPSOs  with respect and giving them the                                                               
needed support, including  financially.  He stated  that it would                                                               
be  his  preference  if  the   funding  went  directly  from  the                                                               
legislature to  each of the  nonprofits if  that is legal.   That                                                               
way, he  continued, the  nonprofits would  know upfront  how much                                                               
money they are  going to get, and  it takes DPS out  of being the                                                               
agency they must come to every time they want to buy something.                                                                 
CHAIR  ZULKOSKY thanked  Commissioner Cockrell.   She  then asked                                                               
Mr. Leonard Wallner to provide his invited testimony.                                                                           
9:00:29 AM                                                                                                                    
LEONARD   WALLNER,   VPSO    Program   Manager   &   Coordinator,                                                               
Chugachimiut, provided invited  testimony during the presentation                                                               
on  rural public  safety.    He stated  that  Chugachimiut is  an                                                               
Alaska Native nonprofit  organization representing Prince William                                                               
Sound and Lower Cook Inlet.   He said the region's four villages,                                                               
communities of 300  or less people, are served  by village public                                                               
safety officers  (VPSOs), with  two of  the positions  filled and                                                               
two vacant.  One of the two VPSOs  is from the region, and one is                                                               
not,  which is  the typical  50  percent threshold.   The  strong                                                               
preference is for local hire, and  this was the case in the early                                                               
years of  the program which started  in 1979, he continued.   But                                                               
today's reality  is that  that's no longer  the case,  which gets                                                               
back to the 50 percent threshold.                                                                                               
MR. WALLNER  explained that  one of the  several reasons  for the                                                               
difficulty in  recruiting someone  from the  community to  be the                                                               
VPSO is family  relationships.  Villages typically  are small and                                                               
there  are family  dynamics  involved  when a  lot  of folks  are                                                               
related to  each other.   Another  reason, he  said, is  that the                                                               
required training  to become a  certified VPSO is 16  weeks long,                                                               
which is a  long time for folks to be  gone from home, especially                                                               
with needing to tend to  their families and the tribulations that                                                               
go on  when they  are not  there.  He  recounted that  about nine                                                               
years  ago the  VPSO  academy was  eight weeks  long  at the  DPS                                                               
academy in Sitka.  Another  commissioner then broke it into three                                                               
segments  of  five  weeks,  three weeks,  and  two  weeks,  which                                                               
increased  the  cost  of travel  significantly  even  though  the                                                               
periods of time away from home  were shorter.  Now the academy is                                                               
16 weeks, which  has its pros and cons, he  continued.  The VPSOs                                                               
train at  the DPS academy  with the  troopers and come  away with                                                               
the  same  training  that the  troopers  and  municipal  officers                                                               
9:04:27 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. WALLNER stated  that a limited pool of  applicants is another                                                               
reason for  difficulty in local  recruitment   there are  only so                                                               
many  eligible  people in  the  communities  and people  are  not                                                               
coming forth  saying that  this is  the job they  want.   He said                                                               
cultural barriers are yet another  reason for difficulty in local                                                               
recruitment.   Language can  be an issue  because English  is not                                                               
always the  first language  in the  communities.   Another hurdle                                                               
that  can be  difficult to  overcome, he  continued, is  that the                                                               
Alaska  Native culture  is more  of a  hands-on type  of learning                                                               
environment as  opposed to the  academy's focus on  classroom and                                                               
bookwork.   He pointed  out that  community avoidance  is another                                                               
issue  because becoming  the  VPSO is  also  becoming the  police                                                               
officer  and so  the person  tends  to become  shunned.   Someone                                                               
throwing a  party in their house  is not going to  invite the cop                                                               
to come over.                                                                                                                   
MR.  WALLNER said  another hurdle  is the  unarmed aspect  of the                                                               
position.   While  the statute  problems on  that were  lifted in                                                               
2014, he stated,  seven years later it really falls  more so upon                                                               
the  employers,  the  nonprofits.    The  Chugachimiut  board  of                                                               
directors has taken a firm  position that VPSOs historically have                                                               
never been  armed and the  board has no  desire to arm  its VPSOs                                                               
now.   Applicants have  come to Chugachimiut  who are  retired or                                                               
spent time with  another agency, he related, and  not being armed                                                               
changes the perspective on whether they want to do the job.                                                                     
9:08:09 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. WALLNER  discussed public safety  challenges, of  which first                                                               
and foremost is the remoteness  of the communities.  For example,                                                               
he  noted, transportation  to two  of Chugachimiut's  villages is                                                               
once or twice  a week unless an airplane is  chartered or someone                                                               
has their  own boat, plus weather  can play into that.   He cited                                                               
an event  in one of  the Chugachimiut communities where  a public                                                               
safety emergency occurred, and the  entire village had to go into                                                               
lockdown.  At the time there was  no VPSO in the community and it                                                               
took the troopers  19-23 hours to get there,  meanwhile the folks                                                               
in  the community  are fearing  for  their safety.   Mr.  Wallner                                                               
pointed out  that there are  also cultural  misunderstandings and                                                               
acceptance - there is language,  subsistence, and foods.  He said                                                               
the  councils in  the region  are  selective, which  they have  a                                                               
right to be, about who comes in  to be the VPSO because it has to                                                               
be someone who has somewhat  of an understanding of their culture                                                               
and how they live and accepting  of that.  As the coordinator, he                                                               
added, he  tends to hand pick  who these people are  going to be.                                                               
Housing is  a major issue, he  stressed.  For example,  in one of                                                               
the communities the  best he can do is a  studio apartment, which                                                               
creates a limitation to applicants who  are single or have only a                                                               
significant other.   He said  fresh water is another  issue, with                                                               
three of Chugachimiut's villages  having had freshwater shortages                                                               
in  the last  three years  and bottled  water had  to be  sent in                                                               
until the  problem was  fixed.  Urban  amenities don't  exist, he                                                               
continued.    Essentially all  that  exists  is the  houses,  the                                                               
school,  the post  office, and  the tribal  office.   Two of  the                                                               
villages  don't have  stores.   Groceries  must  be ordered  from                                                               
online and  come in on the  once- or twice-a-week plane.   So, he                                                               
stated, it  isn't an  easy way  of life, which  gets back  to why                                                               
subsistence becomes so important.   The communities are not rich,                                                               
they have  a limited amount  of funding,  they help as  best they                                                               
can, which is why they rely so much on the VPSO program.                                                                        
9:12:46 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. WALLNER  addressed the topic  of opportunities for  the VPSO.                                                               
He reported  that the present  VPSO starting salary is  $26.79 an                                                               
hour  as compared  to the  public  safety profession's  statewide                                                               
mean  average of  $32-$34 an  hour.   He pointed  out that  while                                                               
$26.79 is  decent pay for the  community, there is the  high cost                                                               
of living in the village.  Being  a VPSO, he added, is one of the                                                               
better jobs in  the village for the most part.   Regarding the 50                                                               
percent pool  where 50  percent of  the people  are not  from the                                                               
community, he  explained that  loyalty or  tie to  community does                                                               
not  exist nearly  as  well.   For  example,  he  said, it's  not                                                               
uncommon  for  someone to  get  trained  and certified  and  then                                                               
another job  offer comes from  a larger community that  is better                                                               
for the person and the person's family, which creates attrition.                                                                
MR.  WALLNER stated  that  the  VPSO is  a  perfect  fit for  the                                                               
community,  and  it was  designed  to  work in  the  communities.                                                               
While law  enforcement is  the primary  function of  Alaska State                                                               
Troopers, he  said, VPSOs are  not only law enforcement  but also                                                               
receive training  in fighting  fires, search  and rescue,  and as                                                               
emergency trauma technicians.   Additionally, he continued, VPSOs                                                               
may serve  as off-road  Division of  Motor Vehicle  (DMV) license                                                               
examiners  and lay  vaccinators; provide  welfare checks,  animal                                                               
control,  elder  assistance,  and   emergency  planning;  and  be                                                               
involved with school resource officers (SROs).                                                                                  
MR.  WALLNER  shared  that  he  retired  from  the  Alaska  State                                                               
Troopers after  25 years of  service.   He said he  first started                                                               
working with the VPSO Program in  1995 as an oversight out of St.                                                               
Mary's, and for the last nine  years of his trooper career he was                                                               
the statewide coordinator for the VPSO Program.                                                                                 
9:19:54 AM                                                                                                                    
VIVIAN KORTHUIS, Chief Executive  Officer, Association of Village                                                               
Council Presidents (AVCP), provided  invited testimony during the                                                               
presentation on  rural public  safety.  She  stated she  is Yupik                                                               
and a  member of the  Emmonak Tribe.   She said public  safety is                                                               
the number one  priority for the tribes in the  AVCP region.  She                                                               
noted that AVCP  is the largest tribal consortium  in the nation,                                                               
with 56  federally recognized tribes  as members.  The  region is                                                               
located  on the  Yukon-Kuskokwim (YK)  Delta bordering  the Yukon                                                               
River,  the Kuskokwim  River,  and  the Bering  Sea  coast.   She                                                               
further noted that the AVCP region  is about the same size as the                                                               
state of Washington  and is an off-road region,  meaning the only                                                               
way into the region is by flying  or by barge in the summer.  The                                                               
only way  to travel  between the 48  physical communities  in the                                                               
region is  by small plane, boat  in the summer, or  snow machine,                                                               
trails,  or  ice  roads  in   the  winter.    The  population  is                                                               
approximately 26,000 people with a median age of 25.                                                                            
MS.  KORTHUIS  stated  that  US  Attorney  General  William  Barr                                                               
visited Alaska  in 2019  and met with  tribes and  tribal leaders                                                               
who shared  their stories and recommendations  with him regarding                                                               
public safety  in rural Alaska.   As a result, the  Department of                                                               
Justice  declared a  law enforcement  emergency in  rural Alaska,                                                               
although  [rural Alaskans]  know that  this public  safety crisis                                                               
has existed  for years.   She  reported that  there are  rates of                                                               
domestic violence and  assault in the region's  villages that are                                                               
10 times higher  than the rest of  the US.  Most  of the villages                                                               
only have  access to  part-time law  enforcement, and  some rural                                                               
communities, including the  YK Delta, have no  law enforcement at                                                               
all.   The  Alaska State  Troopers are  only able  to respond  to                                                               
serious  felonies,  she  pointed   out,  and  weather  can  delay                                                               
responses  for hours,  days,  or  even weeks.    She  said it  is                                                               
unacceptable  for [off-road  communities]  to not  have the  same                                                               
access to public safety as communities on the road system.                                                                      
9:24:22 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  KORTHUIS spoke  to  AVCP's Public  Safety  Initiative.   She                                                               
related that  in 2016 AVCP's  tribes determined public  safety to                                                               
be  the region's  number one  priority, and  since then  AVCP has                                                               
worked  hard and  strategically to  address public  safety.   She                                                               
said groundwork was laid in 2017  and 2018 when AVCP assessed the                                                               
baseline  of   public  safety  in  the   region,  which  included                                                               
assessing  all public  safety facilities  in the  region and  its                                                               
villages;  meeting with  tribes, local  organizations, and  state                                                               
and  federal enforcement  agencies; and  strategic planning  with                                                               
the state's VPSO tribal caucus.   It was learned that a local law                                                               
enforcement presence was needed  in every community, the region's                                                               
public  safety  buildings needed  to  be  renovated or  replaced,                                                               
access was needed to comprehensive  training for law enforcement,                                                               
a  sustained  source of  funding  was  needed, and  clear  tribal                                                               
authority  and jurisdiction  was needed.   Public  safety in  the                                                               
AVCP region  is basically  absent, she  stressed, and  the region                                                               
needs  help.    Strategies  to  improve  public  safety  must  be                                                               
implemented at the  tribal, state, and federal levels.   She said                                                               
it is  the state's responsibility  to address the lack  of public                                                               
safety head on.                                                                                                                 
MS. KORTHUIS expressed the strong  support of AVCP and its tribes                                                               
for  the  VPSO  Program  because  it  is  known  that  local  law                                                               
enforcement in  the community  works.  She  stated that  the VPSO                                                               
Program has faced  several challenges in the  past several years,                                                               
many of which reflect the  national trends of law enforcement and                                                               
some of  which are unique  to the  VPSO Program.   The challenges                                                               
include difficulty  in recruitment and retention,  salaries below                                                               
market  compared  to  other  states  and  local  law  enforcement                                                               
positions, and the  need for more flexibility  to design programs                                                               
around  regional  needs, such  as  roving  officers and  flexible                                                               
schedules.   She said  positive changes are  being seen  with the                                                               
DPS Division  of Administrative Services overseeing  the program,                                                               
and that  there has been  more flexibility in using  VPSO funding                                                               
to  make  improvements  to  public safety  in  the  AVCP  region.                                                               
However, she  stressed, progress must continue  in addressing the                                                               
issues  that make  it  hard to  recruit and  retain  VPSOs.   She                                                               
pointed out that  VPSOs respond to calls in  communities that are                                                               
isolated and without  backup and said VPSOs should  be valued and                                                               
compensated equally  with their urban counterparts.   She further                                                               
stressed the need for continued  and increased flexibility to use                                                               
funding to address actual public  safety needs of the communities                                                               
that VPSOs  serve.  She said  she wants to work  towards having a                                                               
line of recruits outside the VPSO coordinator's door.                                                                           
9:28:42 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. KORTHUIS  discussed the topic  of investment in  rural Alaska                                                               
public safety  infrastructure.  She  noted that one-third  of all                                                               
Alaskans live  in rural  Alaska, yet  the difference  between the                                                               
investment in  public safety infrastructure  in rural  Alaska and                                                               
urban or road  system communities is night and day.   She related                                                               
that most  communities in  the AVCP region  do not  have adequate                                                               
public safety buildings, holding  cells, or available housing for                                                               
law  enforcement  officers.     Tribes  and  village  governments                                                               
struggle  to hire  part-time law  enforcement, pay  for equipment                                                               
and training, and maintain public  safety buildings through a mix                                                               
of  grant  applications,  fund   raising,  and  donations.    She                                                               
reported that  in 2018 AVCP  assessed the region's  public safety                                                               
infrastructure  and  found that  80  percent  of its  communities                                                               
needed a public safety facility  replaced, removed, renovated, or                                                               
a new building  constructed.  She said it was  also found that 26                                                               
communities had  no public safety  housing available.   She added                                                               
that AVCP  partners with Yuut  Elitnaurviat, the  tribal training                                                               
organization  that  provides  village police  officer  (VPO)  and                                                               
tribal policy  officer (TPO)  training.   She said  AVCP recently                                                               
secured  funds  to   pilot  a  training  program   that  adds  an                                                               
additional three  weeks to the current  two-week training course.                                                               
Meanwhile, Ms. Korthuis continued,  road system communities often                                                               
enjoy state  funded law enforcement  whose officers  have offices                                                               
and comprehensive training.  Allocation  of funds shows priority,                                                               
she stated, and right now public  safety in rural Alaska does not                                                               
appear to be a priority.                                                                                                        
MS. KORTHUIS urged  that the State of Alaska  meet its obligation                                                               
to keep  rural Alaskans  safe by  thoroughly supporting  the VPSO                                                               
Program and  by investing in  public safety infrastructure.   She                                                               
further  urged  that  the  state  work  closely  with  tribes  as                                                               
partners because  they know  the needs  of their  communities and                                                               
what strategies  will work  to improve public  safety.   She said                                                               
every village has  a right hand and  a left hand -  a health aide                                                               
and a VPSO.   Whenever there is an emergency  or trauma the first                                                               
thing anyone  does is call the  health aide or VPSO.   [Alaskans]                                                               
are lucky to have a  health care infrastructure that supports the                                                               
health aides,  she continued, but  if a  village does not  have a                                                               
public safety  presence, "it's  like trying  to help  people with                                                               
one hand  tied behind your back,"  which is not acceptable.   She                                                               
stated that  tribes in rural  Alaska are not asking  for anything                                                               
more or anything  less than any other community in  Alaska or the                                                               
US regarding public safety.                                                                                                     
9:33:09 AM                                                                                                                    
JASON  WILSON,  Public  Safety  Manager,  VPSO  Program,  Central                                                               
Council  of Tlingit  & Haida  Indian Tribes  of Alaska,  provided                                                               
invited  testimony  during  the   presentation  on  rural  public                                                               
safety.  He stated that the  Central Council of Tlingit and Haida                                                               
Indian  Tribes  of Alaska  ("Tlingit  &  Haida") loves  the  VPSO                                                               
Program.   He said he  has been the  manager of this  program for                                                               
roughly  16 years  over which  time  he has  seen many  different                                                               
things and  different directions.   He noted  he is  Eagle Killer                                                               
Whale and  stated that Tlingit  & Haida  is the largest  tribe in                                                               
Alaska  with  over 32,000  enrolled  citizens  across the  state,                                                               
nation, and world.   He related that only a  handful of Tlingit &                                                               
Haida's communities are  connected to the road  system, with most                                                               
accessible only  by boat or  plane.   He explained that  the VPSO                                                               
Program fills  a critical  need in  those communities  that don't                                                               
have  direct access  to  Alaska State  Troopers  or other  public                                                               
safety infrastructures.   Tlingit &  Haida runs the  VPSO Program                                                               
for the Southeast  Alaska region, he continued,  and has officers                                                               
in the  communities of Kake,  Angoon, Pelican,  Saxman, Hydaburg,                                                               
Thorne Bay, and Kasaan.                                                                                                         
MR. WILSON pointed  out that VPSOs do many things  in addition to                                                               
law  enforcement,  such as:    providing  instruction in  schools                                                               
about   water   safety,   hunter   safety,   and   how   criminal                                                               
investigations  are  done;  performing some  DMV  functions  like                                                               
issuing  [drivers] licenses  and  ensuring  cars are  registered;                                                               
responding  to  brown  bears  and   wolves  in  the  communities;                                                               
responding  to fires;  acting  as  emergency medical  technicians                                                               
(EMTs); providing  search and rescue;  and acting  as counselors.                                                               
He said the  strength is that a  VPSO is a part  of the community                                                               
as  well as  a  superhero  in the  community.    Some VPSOs  from                                                               
outside the  community have even  been adopted as members  of the                                                               
tribe, which is a huge honor.                                                                                                   
9:38:28 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. WILSON  announced that Tlingit  & Haida just  recently filled                                                               
the vacancy  in Hydaburg,  and that  there are  two VPSOs  in the                                                               
communities of  Kake, Angoon, and Thorne  Bay.  He added  that he                                                               
has applicants  for the second  VPSO position in  the communities                                                               
of Saxman and Hydaburg.                                                                                                         
MR. WILSON  stated that there  are currently about 52  VPSOs with                                                               
funding for about 68 this year,  and at this time last year there                                                               
were only  33 VPSOs.  Improvements  have been made, he  said, but                                                               
more are needed.                                                                                                                
MR. WILSON addressed the challenge  of recruitment and retention.                                                               
Regarding planning, he said Tlingit  & Haida has shifted gears in                                                               
working  with  the  state  and other  coordinators  to  create  a                                                               
recruitment  officer  position in  which  the  person would  work                                                               
solely on  filling positions throughout  the entire program.   Up                                                               
to  this point,  he explained,  recruitment has  been put  on the                                                               
shoulders   of  the   VPSO   coordinators,   which  for   certain                                                               
coordinators might  not be a  strength.  He  said a look  is also                                                               
being  taken at  the possibility  of finding  more applicants  by                                                               
tapping into "headhunters" who find  people to fill big positions                                                               
as well as mid-level positions like the VPSO Program.                                                                           
MR. WILSON related that a better  job is now being done regarding                                                               
infrastructure  by  addressing  it  as a  program;  for  example,                                                               
providing housing and  public safety buildings in  a community as                                                               
a program.                                                                                                                      
MR.  WILSON stated  that Ms.  Moore's testimony  truly shows  the                                                               
importance and value  of the VPSO Program in each  community.  He                                                               
thanked  Commissioner   Cockrell  and   said  working   with  the                                                               
commissioner has  been positive because the  commissioner is open                                                               
to working  with the program.   He said  the VPSO Program  can be                                                               
made better, but  it isn't broken.  It faces  challenges like any                                                               
other program, but the lenses on  the program are different.  The                                                               
best  way to  get better,  he added,  is by  communicating better                                                               
with the state and the partnering organizations.                                                                                
9:44:57 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR ZULKOSKY  inquired about the  need for  greater reliability                                                               
in funding  each year  to support the  public safety  programs in                                                               
each region.                                                                                                                    
MS. KORTHUIS  answered that fiscal consistency  would ensure AVCP                                                               
could  do  appropriate planning,  staffing,  and  budgeting on  a                                                               
year-to-year basis  for all  the services  needed in  the region.                                                               
She said  funding inconsistency  is a  challenge because  AVCP is                                                               
then unable  to plan  appropriately to meet  the needs  of public                                                               
safety.  This  has been experienced over the  last several years,                                                               
she added, and the goal is to bring back that consistency.                                                                      
MR. WALLNER  explained that  when funding is  granted it  goes to                                                               
the  [Department of  Public  Safety] and  then  to the  statewide                                                               
office.   The statewide office  determines how much  funding goes                                                               
to  which  organization;  a  routine practice  every  year.    He                                                               
reiterated  that   two  of   Chugachimiut's  four   villages  are                                                               
currently full and two are vacant.   He said that for this fiscal                                                               
year  Chugachimiut received  funding  for  three VPSO  positions,                                                               
creating  the dilemma  of not  having the  money for  that fourth                                                               
position.   It  is common  practice that  funding for  many other                                                               
needs  for  the  program  go  neglected for  the  most  part,  he                                                               
related,  and  Chugachimiut is  using  the  funding for  the  two                                                               
vacancies to accommodate equipment and  other needs.  Funding has                                                               
always been  an issue, he  stated, and since funding  varies from                                                               
year-to-year Chugachimiut must make do with what it gets.                                                                       
MR.  WILSON stated  that the  responses of  Ms. Korthuis  and Mr.                                                               
Wallner have answered the question.                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE CRONK  remarked that  he looks forward  to talking                                                               
to all the  witnesses about the positive things and  how to build                                                               
on them to make this the best program.                                                                                          
CHAIR  ZULKOSKY thanked  the witnesses  and said  their testimony                                                               
articulated  how  consequential  the   funding  is  of  essential                                                               
services across the state.                                                                                                      
9:51:06 AM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Special Committee on Tribal Affairs meeting was adjourned at                                                                    
9:51 a.m.                                                                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Apay'uq Moore testimony 4-15-21.pdf HTRB 4/15/2021 8:00:00 AM