Legislature(2023 - 2024)DAVIS 106

02/05/2024 03:30 PM House TRIBAL AFFAIRS

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Audio Topic
03:31:25 PM Start
03:34:41 PM Presentation: Multi-jurisdictional Approach to Missing and Murdered Indigenous People
04:58:28 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Teleconference <Listen Only> --
+ Presentation: Multi-Jurisdictional Approach to TELECONFERENCED
Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) by
Commissioner James Cockrell; Darlene Dye, Tribal
Liaison; and Lantz Dahlke and Lonny Piscoya,
MMIP Investigators, Department of Public Safety;
Tami Truett Jerue, Executive Director; and
Kendra Kloster, Co-Director, Law and Policy,
Alaska Native Women's Resource Center;
Joel Jackson, President, Organized Village of
Kake; and Dr. Charlene Aqpik Apok, Executive
Director and Co-Founder, Data For Indigenous
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
           HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON TRIBAL AFFAIRS                                                                          
                        February 5, 2024                                                                                        
                           3:31 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative CJ McCormick, Chair                                                                                              
Representative Ben Carpenter                                                                                                    
Representative Sarah Vance                                                                                                      
Representative Thomas Baker                                                                                                     
Representative Maxine Dibert                                                                                                    
Representative Ashley Carrick                                                                                                   
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Jamie Allard                                                                                                     
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
Representative Calvin Schrage                                                                                                   
Representative Rebecca Himschoot                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION: MULTI-JURISDICTIONAL APPROACH TO MISSING AND                                                                      
MURDERED INDIGENOUS PEOPLE                                                                                                      
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
TAMI TRUETT JERUE, Executive Director                                                                                           
Alaska Native Women's Resource Center                                                                                           
Anvik, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided a PowerPoint presentation, titled                                                               
"Multi-Jurisdictional Approach to the MMIP Crisis."                                                                             
JOEL JACKSON, President                                                                                                         
Organized Village of Kake                                                                                                       
Kake, Alaska                                                                                                                    
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Commented  during the  Multi-Jurisdictional                                                            
Approach to Missing and Murdered Indigenous People presentation.                                                                
JAMES COCKRELL, Commissioner                                                                                                    
Office of the Commissioner                                                                                                      
Department of Public Safety                                                                                                     
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Testified  during the  Multi-Jurisdictional                                                            
Approach to Missing and Murdered Indigenous People presentation.                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
3:31:25 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  MCCORMICK  called the  House  Special Committee  on  Tribal                                                            
Affairs meeting to  order at 3:31 p.m.  Representatives  Baker and                                                              
McCormick  were present  at the  call to  order.   Representatives                                                              
Dibert, Vance,  Carpenter and Carrick  arrived as the  meeting was                                                              
in progress.                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at-ease from 3:31 p.m. to 3:33 p.m.                                                                       
^PRESENTATION:  MULTI-JURISDICTIONAL   APPROACH  TO   MISSING  AND                                                              
MURDERED INDIGENOUS PEOPLE                                                                                                      
   PRESENTATION: MULTI-JURISDICTIONAL APPROACH TO MISSING AND                                                               
                   MURDERED INDIGENOUS PEOPLE                                                                               
3:34:41 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MCCORMICK  announced that the  only order of  business would                                                              
be  a  Multi-Jurisdictional  Approach   to  Missing  and  Murdered                                                              
Indigenous People presentation.                                                                                                 
3:36:25 PM                                                                                                                    
TAMI  TRUETT  JERUE, Executive  Director,  Alaska  Native  Women's                                                              
Resource  Center,  provided  a   PowerPoint  presentation,  titled                                                              
"Multi-Jurisdictional  Approach to  the MMIP  Crisis," [hard  copy                                                              
included  in  the  committee  packet].   Slide  3,  titled  "About                                                              
AKNWRC," read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                       
     Since 2015,  the Alaska  Native Women's Resource  Center                                                                   
     has  been  dedicated  to  strengthening   local,  tribal                                                                   
     government's  responses  through   community  organizing                                                                   
     efforts   advocating  for  the   safety  of  women   and                                                                   
     children  in  their communities  and  homes,  especially                                                                   
     against domestic  and sexual abuse and  violence. AKNWRC                                                                   
     board members  are Alaska Native women raised  in Alaska                                                                   
     Native  Villages and  have  over 141  years of  combined                                                                   
     experience  governments, nonprofit management,  domestic                                                                   
     violence and  sexual assault advocacy, and  other social                                                                   
     service experience.                                                                                                        
     Our Mission                                                                                                                
     The  Alaska  Native Women's  Resource  Center  envisions                                                                   
     our  Tribal women,  communities and  families free  from                                                                   
     violence,  healing the trauma  and utilizing the  wisdom                                                                   
     of our  ancestors to  create effective  community/Tribal                                                                   
     responses   to  domestic   violence,  dating   violence,                                                                   
     stalking,  trafficking,  sexual   assault,  and  related                                                                   
MS.  JERUE provided  background  about the  Alaska Native  Women's                                                              
Resource Center.                                                                                                                
3:40:15 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  JERUE   introduced  the   correlation  between   gender-based                                                              
violence and  missing and murdered  Indigenous people on  slide 4,                                                              
titled "Introduction  to  MMIP," which read  as follows  [original                                                              
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
     Indigenous communities  have been experiencing  some the                                                                   
     highest  rates  of domestic  violence,  sexual  assault,                                                                   
     human/sex  trafficking, and  MMIWG/MMIP in the  country.                                                                   
     We know  this to be true  from even the limited  data we                                                                   
     have from tribal, state and federal databases.                                                                             
MS. JERUE  discussed data  limitations and  how data is  important                                                              
to  secure   funding  for  victims   and  survivors   of  domestic                                                              
violence, sexual assault and human trafficking.                                                                                 
MS.  JERUE  moved to  slide  5,  titled  "What  is being  done  to                                                              
address the MMIP Crisis?" [original punctuation provided]:                                                                      
     In order  to end the  decades long violence  perpetrated                                                                   
     on  Alaska Native  and  American Indians,  all  entities                                                                   
     must  come   together  to  stop  the  violence   and  be                                                                   
     coordinated  -   local,  tribal,  state,   and  federal,                                                                   
     including  all organization  and business  - there is  a                                                                   
     trust   responsibility  to   ensure  every  citizen   is                                                                   
     protected and cared for.                                                                                                   
     Today,  we are  going to address  a few  of the  actions                                                                   
     that have  been taking place  - but understand,  this is                                                                   
     just the  beginning and  YOU ALL have  a part in  ending                                                                   
     this violence NOW.                                                                                                         
MS.  JERUE  noted  some  improvements  over  the  last  10  years;                                                              
however,   statistics   concerning   the  missing   and   murdered                                                              
Indigenous  people  (MMIP)  crisis   show  that  there  are  still                                                              
significant  problems   due  to  colonization  and   the  lack  of                                                              
collaborative  relationships  with  Tribes.   She  emphasized  the                                                              
desire to  work with the state  to provide access to  services for                                                              
3:43:55 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. JERUE discussed  the "Not Invisible Act Commission,"  on slide                                                              
6, which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                       
     The  Commission  is  a multi-agency  effort  to  enhance                                                                   
     protections    and   basic    guidelines   to    engage,                                                                   
     coordinate,   and  consult   with  tribal   governments,                                                                   
     survivors,  families, and  experts  who best  understand                                                                   
     the  needs   of  tribal  communities  to   lead  Federal                                                                   
     efforts to  ensure indigenous  people don't continue  to                                                                   
     go  missing  by developing  strategies  to  address  the                                                                   
     crisis by developing:                                                                                                      
     ?  Administrative  changes   to  identify,  report,  and                                                                   
     respond  effectively   to  cases  of   missing  persons,                                                                   
     murder, and  human trafficking of Indians  within Indian                                                                   
     ? Best practices  for Tribal, federal, state,  and local                                                                   
     law  enforcement   agencies   to  follow  in   combating                                                                   
     violent  crime  against  Indians  within  Indian  lands,                                                                   
     including   missing    persons,   murder,    and   human                                                                   
     trafficking; and                                                                                                           
     ? Guidance  on how to address  any gaps in  services for                                                                   
     Indian victims of violent crime.                                                                                           
MS. JERUE said  that the commission report had  proactive requests                                                              
for  change, yet  there still  has not  been a  response from  the                                                              
U.S. Department  of Justice.  She  expressed a common  thread that                                                              
was heard  throughout the several  commission hearings  that there                                                              
were concerns about  the lack response from law  enforcement and a                                                              
lack of support services available for victims.                                                                                 
3:46:27 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. JERUE moved to slide 7, titled "Not Invisible Act                                                                           
Commission," which read as follows [original punctuation                                                                        
     The  NIA  Commission  held  7  field  hearings,  8  full                                                                   
     commission  meetings, and  a combined  total of 119  sub                                                                   
     committee meetings from 6 sub committees.                                                                                  
     A final  report was released  in November 2023.  Some of                                                                   
     the highlights include:                                                                                                    
     ?  Thanking  the  survivors,  and  impacted  family  and                                                                   
     communities of  missing and murdered Indigenous  persons                                                                   
     and human trafficking of indigenous peoples.                                                                               
     ? Common Themes from the Field Hearings                                                                                    
     ? Key Findings                                                                                                             
     ? Recommendations                                                                                                          
MS. JERUE described that the Not Invisible Act commission                                                                       
indicated that a special chapter in Alaska would be necessary                                                                   
due to extreme conditions and isolation.                                                                                        
3:47:33 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. JERUE provided slide 8, titled "Common Themes From Field                                                                    
Hearings," [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
     Funding:  Reliable, consistent  base funding for  Tribes                                                                   
     to battle MMIP and HT is critical.                                                                                         
     Accountability:  Communities   need  clarity  about  the                                                                   
     extent   and   the   limit    of   the   authority   and                                                                   
     responsibility  of  law enforcement,  medical  examiners                                                                   
     and   coroners  (ME/Cs),   and   funeral  homes.   These                                                                   
     entities   must   be  held   accountable   to   quality,                                                                   
     committed  work,  and  in  the  absence  of  such  work,                                                                   
     negligence  and  egregious  violations of  human  rights                                                                   
     and dignity must be addressed.                                                                                             
     Returning Jurisdiction  to Sovereigns: PL-280  and other                                                                   
     abdications  of  criminal  jurisdiction  to  the  states                                                                   
     have  had  a  disastrous  effect   on  the  quality  and                                                                   
     quantity  of  LE for  Tribal  communities.  Tribes  must                                                                   
     regain their  equal and  rightful status as  sovereigns,                                                                   
     especially  around  LE,  criminal  justice,  and  public                                                                   
     Alaska  requires focused  solutions: The  229 tribes  in                                                                   
     Alaska  are ethnically,  culturally, and  linguistically                                                                   
     diverse  nations, occupying  a  vast area  of about  365                                                                   
     million  acres, much  of which is  inaccessible by  road                                                                   
     and  lacks  basic  infrastructure.  Prior  to  the  2022                                                                   
     Violence  Against  Women  Act   (VAWA)  reauthorization,                                                                   
     Alaska  Native Villages  were in a  legal no-man's  land                                                                   
     as  to  Tribal law  enforcement  authority.  The  public                                                                   
     safety  situation   in  Alaska  is  dire   and  requires                                                                   
     tailored  solutions  that  recognize  the  unique  legal                                                                   
     framework, exceptionally  high victimization  rates, and                                                                   
     historic  exclusion  of Alaska  Tribal  justice  systems                                                                   
     from federal funding.                                                                                                      
MS. JERUE noted that the report can be found online.  She                                                                       
expressed the need for accountability for law enforcement                                                                       
because of high victimization rates in Alaska.                                                                                  
3:50:54 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. JERUE moved to slide 9, titled "Common Themes From Field                                                                    
Hearings," which read as follows [original punctuation                                                                          
     Data  and   coordination:  Federal,  state,   local  and                                                                   
     Tribal law  enforcement agencies (LEAs)  must coordinate                                                                   
     in   reporting,   investigations,  and   sharing   data.                                                                   
     Jurisdictional  boundaries and responsibilities  must be                                                                   
     clarified and understood.                                                                                                  
     Communication:  Authorities at  all levels must  improve                                                                   
     communications  with family members,  who are too  often                                                                   
     left in  the dark for days,  weeks, or months  about the                                                                   
     investigation.  Tragically,   a  case  may  be  declared                                                                   
     "cold"  without  a  family   receiving  any  information                                                                   
     about the investigation.                                                                                                   
     Victim  and family  support: Victims  and families  need                                                                   
     support  from the beginning  to the  end. This  includes                                                                   
     information  on  how processes  work,  where  to go  for                                                                   
     help, counseling, and connections to other services.                                                                       
     Law enforcement  shortages: There are  serious shortages                                                                   
     and  high turnover  of Bureau  of  Indian Affairs  (BIA)                                                                   
     and   Tribal  LEOs,   who   choose   state  or   federal                                                                   
     departments  for  better pay,  retirement,  and  perhaps                                                                   
     less  stress. Up  to date,  relevant training,  wellness                                                                   
     support, pay equity, and benefits can remedy this.                                                                         
MS.  JERUE  emphasized the  need  for  victim and  family  support                                                              
through  mental health  services.   She sought  to find  solutions                                                              
regarding  shortages,   high  turnover,   and  lack   of  adequate                                                              
training for law enforcement.                                                                                                   
3:53:03 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  JERUE moved  to  slide 9,  also  titled  "Common Themes  From                                                              
Field  Hearings,"  which  read as  follows  [original  punctuation                                                              
     Media:   There  are  endless   examples  of   non-Indian                                                                   
     victims and  missing persons  who receive immediate  and                                                                   
     widespread  media  coverage.  For the  AI/AN  victim  or                                                                   
     missing  person,  this  is  the job  of  the  family  or                                                                   
     advocacy  groups. Indigenous  missing  persons must  and                                                                   
     should  receive  the  attention and  focus  that  others                                                                   
     Addressing  vulnerabilities: Human  traffickers prey  on                                                                   
     the  vulnerable, often  people who  are young,  homeless                                                                   
     or  in  foster  care,  dealing  with  addiction,  mental                                                                   
     illness,  or just depression,  anxiety, and  loneliness.                                                                   
     There  must  be  outreach and  help  to  interrupt  this                                                                   
     Trauma  and resilience: The  impact of  the MMIP  and HT                                                                   
     crisis  on  AI/AN communities  is  intergenerational,  a                                                                   
     terrible legacy  handed down  in families. But  there is                                                                   
     also  a deep resilience,  an ability  to survive,  carry                                                                   
     on,  and  even   heal,  especially  with  the   help  of                                                                   
     cultural and spiritual practices.                                                                                          
MS. JERUE noted  the increased likelihood of media  coverage for a                                                              
missing non-Indigenous  person versus a missing  Indigenous person                                                              
and  the   problems  associated   with  this  discrepancy.     She                                                              
emphasized the importance of addressing the trauma.                                                                             
3:54:48 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  JERUE  concluded   that  there  are  many   partnerships  and                                                              
collaborations underway to combat the MMIP crisis.                                                                              
3:55:44 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE  thanked  Ms.  Jerue  and  asked  about  the                                                              
statistics on slide 4.                                                                                                          
3:56:15 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. JERUE  clarified the statistic  and explained that  94 percent                                                              
of  Alaska  Native or  American  Indian  women surveyed  had  been                                                              
raped or coerced in their lifetime.                                                                                             
3:56:51 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE  said,  "Say  it  louder for  those  in  the                                                              
3:57:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  MCCOMICK   thanked  Ms.  Jerue  and  introduced   the  next                                                              
3:57:43 PM                                                                                                                    
JOEL JACKSON,  President, Organized  Village of Kake,  offered his                                                              
perspective of  the issues of MMIP  in his village of  Kake, which                                                              
has  less than  500  people and  recently  hired  two new  Village                                                              
Public  Safety Officers  (VPSOs).   There  are  sometimes gaps  in                                                              
service from VPSOs for weeks at a time.                                                                                         
MR.  JACKSON recollected  a  story  of two  young  women who  were                                                              
murdered.   He said  that one of  the murdered  women was  left in                                                              
the back of the  church for 16 hours while the  village waited for                                                              
law enforcement  to arrive.   He  expressed that  the lack  of law                                                              
enforcement  presence is unacceptable.   This  is not  an isolated                                                              
case  and other  communities  have experienced  similar  problems.                                                              
He expressed  the difficulties faced  by the community of  Kake in                                                              
the aftermath of  the recent tragedy that occurred.   He mentioned                                                              
that his  community felt afraid  and unsafe  with the lack  of law                                                              
enforcement  response.    He  said that  he  responds  to  serious                                                              
events  in the  community and  has some  previous law  enforcement                                                              
experience.  He  emphasized the need for law  enforcement in small                                                              
communities.   He asked,  "How many  more of  our Tribal  citizens                                                              
are going  to die because  of a lack  of law enforcement?   Enough                                                              
is enough.  I heard  all kinds  of answers  today. Budget  issues.                                                              
Ok, how much is a human life worth? You tell me."                                                                               
4:05:12 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. JACKSON  relayed that there  were two active shooters  in Kake                                                              
in the last two  years, and there were no VPSOs  there to respond.                                                              
Mr. Jackson  said he responded, and  luckily no one was  hurt.  He                                                              
said, "I  shouldn't have  to do  this."   He previously  worked in                                                              
law enforcement  and mentioned 15  suicides in his village  in one                                                              
year which  caused him to leave  the police force.  He  said, "I'd                                                              
had enough, so I moved on."                                                                                                     
4:08:05 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  JACKSON  sought   partnerships  through  state   and  federal                                                              
entities to  ensure the  safety and  protection of his  community,                                                              
Native or  non-Native.  He encouraged  the committee to  work with                                                              
Tribes  to  pool  resources  to   create  long-term  solutions  to                                                              
4:12:47 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MCCORMICK thanked Mr. Jackson for sharing his story.                                                                      
4:13:30 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE  expressed   that  Mr.  Jackson's  story  is                                                              
seared into her  memory.  She commended him for  telling his story                                                              
which helped  to increase  the number of  VPSOs around  the state.                                                              
She mentioned  the nationwide  shortage of  law enforcement.   She                                                              
asked if  there has been any  increase in Tribal members  who want                                                              
to be involved in the VPSO program.                                                                                             
4:15:24 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  JACKSON  emphasized the  difficulty  for  a resident  of  the                                                              
village to  become a VPSO  due to a  lack of interest  in policing                                                              
one's  friends and  family.  He  mentioned that  a paramedic  from                                                              
Florida  with no  law enforcement  background  was hired  to be  a                                                              
VPSO in Kake.  He commented on the need for cultural training.                                                                  
4:18:30 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENATIVE  BAKER thanked  Mr.  Jackson.   He  referred to  his                                                              
work on  Kotzebue Tribal  Council.   He gave an  example of  a new                                                              
VPSO from  Oklahoma.  He  agreed that it  is paramount  that VPSOs                                                              
have  resources to  help them  embrace  the culture  of the  place                                                              
they are protecting.                                                                                                            
4:20:22 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  DIBERT thanked  Mr. Jackson.   She  asked for  his                                                              
thoughts on training programs for local youth.                                                                                  
4:21:16 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. JACKSON said  he was looking at all possibilities  to increase                                                              
recruitment  and  retention of  law  enforcement  in Alaska.    He                                                              
said, "You gotta want to do it."                                                                                                
4:22:19 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENATIVE  BAKER   commented  that   when  it  comes   to  law                                                              
enforcement  in small communities,  it's hard  for anyone  to want                                                              
to police  their own community.   He emphasized the  importance of                                                              
building healthy  families and communities so the  next generation                                                              
will want to protect their homes.                                                                                               
CHAIR  MCCORMICK  thanked  Mr. Jackson  and  introduced  the  next                                                              
4:24:29 PM                                                                                                                    
JAMES  COCKRELL,   Commissioner,   Office  of  the   Commissioner,                                                              
Department  of  Public  Safety,   explained  that  the  state  has                                                              
provided  disproportionate  resources  for  communities  in  rural                                                              
Alaska.   He  said,  "It's  shameful."   He  mentioned  increasing                                                              
taxes  for  boroughs  to  supplement their  police  forces.    The                                                              
Department of Public  Safety (DPS) is focused on MMIP  issues.  He                                                              
reported  that  the  federal  government  funded  the  first  MMIP                                                              
investigator for  the department.  He informed  the committee that                                                              
the scope  of MMIP  issues is too  broad for  the small  number of                                                              
investigators dedicated  to the issue.   Currently, there  are six                                                              
cold  cases in  four regions  of  the state.   Investigators  have                                                              
been  active and  have  received lots  of  support from  community                                                              
members.   He ensured  that the department  plans to  stay focused                                                              
on MMIP.   Four investigators are  fully funded in  the governor's                                                              
budget with additional funding for outreach.                                                                                    
4:30:04 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CARRICK  asked about additional  Tribal sovereignty                                                              
over cases and how the legislature can support such an effort.                                                                  
4:31:11 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER  COCKRELL   stated  that  Tribal  sovereignty   is  a                                                              
complex issue.   He  mentioned future  federal funding  for Tribal                                                              
police  officers.    Certain  jurisdictions   with  Tribal  courts                                                              
around the state will be able to  tackle low level misdemeanors.                                                                
4:33:12 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CARRICK  commented about  higher  level crime  and                                                              
the challenges for Tribes in small communities.                                                                                 
4:34:20 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE  noted the changes in DPS over  the last five                                                              
years in response  to the outcry from communities.   She commended                                                              
the commissioner  for his work in implementing  changes to provide                                                              
solutions.  She mentioned a new VPSO in Seldovia.                                                                               
4:36:56 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER   COCKRELL   said  that   hearing   the  stories   of                                                              
victimization  from rural  communities  changes one's  perspective                                                              
of  law  enforcement.     The  department's  focus   has  been  on                                                              
providing  more resources  to rural  areas.   There are  struggles                                                              
with housing  for VPSOs.  He mentioned  how rewarding it  is to be                                                              
an  Alaska State  Trooper.   Funding  for Tribal  issues over  the                                                              
last couple  years has  caused positive momentum  and change.   He                                                              
admitted  that  troopers  aren't  perfect  but  are  committed  to                                                              
providing professional  law enforcement  resources that  are equal                                                              
around the state.                                                                                                               
4:42:49 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER COCKRELL  described how crime tends to  level off and                                                              
then decrease  once a trooper  or VPSO  is present in  a community                                                              
and has a  relationship with that  community.  It is  difficult to                                                              
have someone  from the village  to police  the village.   Now that                                                              
the  VPSO  program  is  a  division   within  the  Office  of  the                                                              
Commissioner,  there is better  communication, parity,  and shared                                                              
4:45:39 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CARPENTER asked  if it  is time  to discuss  local                                                              
municipalities providing local policing.                                                                                        
COMMISSIONER  COCKRELL  discussed resources  throughout  different                                                              
parts  of Alaska.   Growth has  outpaced funding  for troopers  in                                                              
Matanuska-Susitna.  It's time to discuss local policing.                                                                        
4:48:42 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CARPENTER  said that  community-oriented  policing                                                              
models are  likely to be most  effective.  If law  enforcement has                                                              
a presence  in  the community,  intervention can  happen before  a                                                              
response is  needed.  He wondered  if a state, borough,  or county                                                              
law enforcement model would have better results.                                                                                
4:51:15 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER  COCKRELL said  the  Alaska State  Troopers were  not                                                              
designed to  police urban areas.   If the department  were growing                                                              
to an  adequate level,  more direct  interactions with  the public                                                              
would be possible.   The department is currently  in a reactionary                                                              
state because  of vacancies and lack  of funding.  He  described a                                                              
busy  day  on  patrol  in  the   Matanuska-Susitna  Valley,  which                                                              
involved  a backlog  of  cases due  to  a lack  of  administrative                                                              
support.   Uniformed officers  should be in  the field,  not stuck                                                              
in the office writing reports.                                                                                                  
4:55:04 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DIBERT thanked the commissioner.                                                                                 
4:55:24 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENATIVE BAKER thanked the commissioner.                                                                                   
CHAIR MCCORMICK thanked  the commissioner and said  that there are                                                              
still many  families who  report incidences and  are ignored.   He                                                              
said he looks forward  to working to fill in the  gaps to keep the                                                              
public safe.                                                                                                                    
4:58:28 PM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further business  before the committee,  the House                                                              
Special  Committee  on Tribal  Affairs  meeting was  adjourned  at                                                              
4:58 p.m.                                                                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Multi-Jurisdictional Approach to the MMIP Crisis - AKNWRC - HTRB 2.5.24.pdf HTRB 2/5/2024 3:30:00 PM