Legislature(2019 - 2020)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

03/02/2020 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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01:30:05 PM Start
01:31:28 PM Confirmation Hearing(s):
02:34:56 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees: TELECONFERENCED
Alaska Police Standards Council
- Ed Mercer
- Joseph White
- Jennifer Winkleman
-- Public Testimony on All Appointees --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 2, 2020                                                                                          
                           1:30 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator John Coghill, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Peter Micciche, Vice Chair                                                                                              
Senator Shelley Hughes                                                                                                          
Senator Lora Reinbold                                                                                                           
Senator Jesse Kiehl                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Alaska Police Standards Council                                                                                               
Ed Mercer - Juneau                                                                                                              
Joseph White - Ketchikan                                                                                                        
Jennifer Winkelman - Juneau                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATIONS ADVANCED                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ED MERCER, Appointee                                                                                                            
Alaska Police Standards Council                                                                                                 
Department of Public Safety; Chief of Police                                                                                    
Juneau Police Department                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as appointee to the Alaska Police                                                               
Standards Council.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JOSEPH WHITE, Appointee                                                                                                         
Alaska Police Standards Council                                                                                                 
Department of Public Safety; Chief of Police                                                                                    
Ketchikan Police Department                                                                                                     
Ketchikan, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointee to  the Alaska Police                                                             
Standards Council.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JENNIFER WINKELMAN, Appointee                                                                                                   
Alaska Police Standards Council                                                                                                 
Department of Public Safety; Director                                                                                           
Division of Probation, Parole & Pretrial;                                                                                       
Acting Deputy Commissioner                                                                                                      
Department of Corrections                                                                                                       
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointee to  the Alaska Police                                                             
Standards Council.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:30:05 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  JOHN   COGHILL  called   the  Senate   Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to order at 1:30  p.m. Present at call to order                                                               
were  Senators  Kiehl,  Hughes,   Reinbold,  Micciche  and  Chair                                                               
Coghill.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
^Confirmation Hearing(s):                                                                                                       
                    CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                
                Alaska Police Standards Council                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:31:28 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL announced that the  only order of business would be                                                               
consideration  of  governor  appointees   to  the  Alaska  Police                                                               
Standards Council.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:32:01 PM                                                                                                                    
ED  MERCER, Appointee,  Alaska Police  Standards Council  (APSC),                                                               
Department  of Public  Safety; Chief  of Police,  Juneau, Alaska,                                                               
provided his  background, including that  he took a job  with the                                                               
Juneau  Police Department  in 2000.  He  worked his  way up  from                                                               
police officer to chief. He  holds thousands of hours of training                                                               
ranging  from  procedures  to management  training.  He  holds  a                                                               
Bachelor  of  Science degree  in  criminal  justice from  Herzing                                                               
University  in  Madison, Wisconsin.  He  graduated  from the  FBI                                                               
National  Academy.  He holds  an  advanced  certificate from  the                                                               
APSC.  He also  serves on  the  Alaska Association  of Chiefs  of                                                               
Police,  and  the Alaska  High  Intensity  Drug Trafficking  Area                                                               
Board. He serves  on the Alaska Area  Maritime Security Committee                                                               
Board and  a national FBI  Criminal Justice  Information Services                                                               
(CJIS) Group for the Western region.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
He  said he  would like  to serve  on this  board because  of his                                                               
strong  interest in  serving his  community and  enhancing police                                                               
professionalism  and  accountability.  He expressed  interest  in                                                               
serving on  the council that  oversees the minimum  standards for                                                               
all law enforcement officers.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL thanked him for his service.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:34:27 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD remarked that many  people are concerned about a                                                               
lack of  justice for victims. She  related that only 50  of 1,500                                                               
sexual assault cases result in  convictions, although she did not                                                               
believe it is due to  police officers. She related her experience                                                               
visiting  Hiland Mountain  Correctional  Facility  was that  many                                                               
inmates began drug  use to mask the pain of  abuse and sense that                                                               
the outcome of their case did  not provide justice. She asked him                                                               
to describe any holes in the  criminal justice system and ways to                                                               
better provide justice for victims.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHIEF  MERCER acknowledged  that  sexual assault  cases are  very                                                               
traumatic.  He  explained  that  these  investigations  are  very                                                               
complex and  require physical  evidence, so  he is  not surprised                                                               
the conviction levels  are not as high as the  public desires. He                                                               
said  that   he  appreciated  that   she  did  not   believe  law                                                               
enforcement is  responsible for low conviction  rates. He related                                                               
that  in the  past  year  he advocated  for  adequate numbers  of                                                               
police and  prosecutors since the  state currently  has shortages                                                               
of  each.  Police  and prosecutors  must  prioritize  cases  when                                                               
shortages  exist.  Fortunately,  Juneau  received  an  additional                                                               
prosecutor and that helped.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:37:37 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  REINBOLD  asked  what  he  can  do  to  get  more  cases                                                               
prosecuted, to  validate the victims,  and get  more perpetrators                                                               
off the street.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  asked members  to keep  the discussion  focused on                                                               
the  Alaska  Police  Standards Council  (APSC).  He  asked  Chief                                                               
Mercer to describe  what the council can do in  terms of training                                                               
and disciplinary action to help alleviate the problems.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHIEF MERCER  responded that pre-1980s people's  attitude towards                                                               
domestic violence  was more  tolerant. Since  then the  state and                                                               
the country has moved forward and  people are much more aware and                                                               
inclined to  report domestic violence  crimes. He  emphasized the                                                               
importance of  continuing to educate  the public  and encouraging                                                               
reporting, which will  help address the issue. He  agreed that it                                                               
is very difficult for victims  to go through the criminal justice                                                               
system because they face exposure.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
He said  it is essential  for APSC to uphold  professionalism. He                                                               
emphasized  that training  is  important,  that tenured  officers                                                               
continually train to  ensure they understand the  current law and                                                               
take appropriate  actions. The council must  ensure that officers                                                               
are  certified,   and  officers   must  investigate   all  crimes                                                               
regardless of the individual's identity or position.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGHES  asked  if   the  council's  recommendations  for                                                               
training need  to be modified to  address the high rate  of human                                                               
trafficking, child  sexual exploitation, and incidence  of sexual                                                               
assault  cases.   She  suggested  that  officers   could  receive                                                               
training  to  alert them  to  signs  of  these crimes  since  the                                                               
council develops and sets training requirements.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHIEF MERCER responded that human  trafficking happens in Alaska,                                                               
but the  Juneau area  has not experienced  many cases.  He agreed                                                               
that  additional training  for officers  to detect  suspicious or                                                               
illegal trafficking activity could  be beneficial, similar to the                                                               
training officers receive to detect  drug trafficking. He pointed                                                               
out that several  of his detectives received  training related to                                                               
strangulation, which  has been emphasized  statewide for  all law                                                               
enforcement officers.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:45:13 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL asked  what he could do to  improve the partnership                                                               
between law  enforcement agencies  and organizations  outside law                                                               
enforcement. He also asked him  to identify any specific training                                                               
he recommends.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHIEF MERCER  pointed to the  federal Violence Against  Women Act                                                               
(VAWA).   He  recalled   attending   national  conferences   with                                                               
advocates,  prosecutors, and  police  who shared  what works  for                                                               
them. Alaska can benefit from  other states since Alaska tends to                                                               
fall  behind   national  crime  trends.  However,   these  issues                                                               
eventually come  to Alaska.  He reported  that the  Juneau Police                                                               
Department  (JPD) does  a  good job  obtaining  training for  its                                                               
officers. They  receive 80  hours per  year of  in-house training                                                               
and  participate  in  specialty   training  related  to  domestic                                                               
violence, strangulation,  and driving offense training  to detect                                                               
marijuana.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:48:10 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  REINBOLD expressed  concern that  marijuana is  legal in                                                               
Alaska,  given the  that  the  high level  of  drugs in  Alaska's                                                               
communities leads to  theft and other crimes. She  asked what the                                                               
state needs to do to address drug related crimes.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHIEF MERCER  responded that  the state  has done  a good  job in                                                               
terms of  addressing high intensity  drug trafficking.  The state                                                               
has obtained funding  to train detectives and  drug detection for                                                               
police  departments.  He  noted  that  the  federal  pass-through                                                               
funding  will be  beneficial to  everyone.  He acknowledged  that                                                               
marijuana  is  legal, but  studies  have  shown impaired  driving                                                               
occurs. It may  be helpful to have detection  units conduct field                                                               
testing. The  JPD has  a dog  trained in  drug detection  that it                                                               
uses in  the region.  He acknowledged  that funding  for training                                                               
and  handling  dogs  is  expensive,  so  additional  funding  for                                                               
individual police departments would be welcome.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:51:35 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MICCICHE   asked  what   the  Alaska   Police  Standards                                                               
Council's  role is  with village  public safety  officers (VPSOs)                                                               
and village police officer (VPO) programs.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHIEF  MERCER answered  that  the council  ensures  that all  law                                                               
enforcement officers are properly  trained, meet the requirements                                                               
necessary for certification, and adhere to the same standards.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MICCICHE related  his  understanding  that gang  members                                                               
often provide drugs  to victims who self-medicate  due to trauma.                                                               
He  asked   if  he  focused   on  gang  activity   and  effective                                                               
investigation  methods  to  root  it out.  He  emphasized  it  is                                                               
important  to  show  that  Alaska   does  not  tolerate  criminal                                                               
activity. He further asked if the  council has taken any steps to                                                               
reduce  criminal   activity  by  gangs,  similar   to  the  state                                                               
crackdown in the late 1990s.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHIEF MERCER answered that Southeast  Alaska has not been plagued                                                               
with  gang  activity.  He  agreed   the  council  should  provide                                                               
training  since a  nexus exists  between drugs  and other  vices.                                                               
JPD's detectives  receive training  at the U.S.  Drug Enforcement                                                               
Administration (DEA) Training Academy on drugs and gangs.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:55:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES said  that one of the duties of  the council is to                                                               
determine law  enforcement officer misconduct and  if the officer                                                               
will lose  his or  her certification.  She asked  if he  has been                                                               
involved in  any cases where  law enforcement officers  have lost                                                               
their certification.  She asked for  his perspective on  how that                                                               
process works.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHIEF MERCER said  during his ten years of service  in the Juneau                                                               
Police  Department's administration,  he has  received complaints                                                               
against police officers who have  been disciplined or terminated.                                                               
Sometimes his or her behavior  is so egregious that the officer's                                                               
moral character is deemed unsuitable  to remain certified. He has                                                               
referred officers  to the council  for investigation  and action.                                                               
He said he has served on  the council since December and while he                                                               
has a  good understanding  of the process,  he is  still learning                                                               
his role.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGHES  asked if  the council  has jurisdiction  over all                                                               
officers in the state.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHIEF  MERCER replied  the Alaska  Police  Standards Council  has                                                               
authority   over  all   jurisdictions,  including   VPSOs,  VPOs,                                                               
municipal police, and state troopers.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:58:43 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KIEHL asked  if the  Juneau Police  Department plans  on                                                               
replacing its drug detection dog, "Buddy."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHIEF MERCER answered that the  department has sufficient funding                                                               
to  replace  the   six-year-old  and  plans  to   keep  its  drug                                                               
enforcement program going.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL thanked him for his service                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:00:11 PM                                                                                                                    
JOSEPH  WHITE,   Appointee,  Alaska  Police   Standards  Council,                                                               
Department of Public Safety;  Chief, Ketchikan Police Department,                                                               
Ketchikan,  Alaska, advised  that  he has  served  as the  police                                                               
chief  for three  of his  24 years  of service  at the  Ketchikan                                                               
Police Department. He received a  Bachelor of Science degree from                                                               
the  University  of  Alaska  Anchorage.  He  serves  on  a  local                                                               
Domestic Violence Task Force and  is Chair of the Local Emergency                                                               
Planning Committee. He has thousands  of hours of police training                                                               
and  graduated from  the FBI  National  Academy in  2013. He  was                                                               
appointed  to the  council in  May 2018  and has  participated in                                                               
some  meetings  and  decisions. He  brings  his  law  enforcement                                                               
skills to  the council. He  said that he  likes to listen  to all                                                               
aspects  of an  issue before  making a  decision. He  has enjoyed                                                               
serving on the council.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:01:42 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD  asked whether he  was one of the  police chiefs                                                               
who opposed Senate Bill 91.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHIEF WHITE answered  no; he remained neutral in  the process. He                                                               
acknowledged that  some reforms were needed,  but some provisions                                                               
were "deep cutting."                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL reminded  members  to  focus on  the  role of  the                                                               
Alaska Police Standards Council.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR REINBOLD  expressed disappointment that he  did not stand                                                               
against  Senate Bill  91.  She related  her  observations of  low                                                               
morale in  law enforcement in  Southcentral. She asked  his views                                                               
on  HB  49 [related  to  crimes,  sentencing, drugs,  theft,  and                                                               
reports, effective  date July 2019].  She asked what can  be done                                                               
to address  low conviction rates  in sexual assault  and domestic                                                               
violence cases and to reduce street drugs.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL  cautioned  that   it  was  inappropriate  to  ask                                                               
appointees if they  like current law. He  suggested the committee                                                               
hear  what the  Alaska Police  Standards Council  can do  to help                                                               
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHIEF WHITE highlighted the  importance of building relationships                                                               
with other  stakeholders and  agencies, so  the council  can work                                                               
cooperatively  to obtain  the best  outcomes. He  currently works                                                               
jointly with  a task force on  drugs in Southeast Alaska  to find                                                               
points  of  entry  and  identify  patterns.  The  department  has                                                               
dedicated drug officers and works with federal agencies.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
The Ketchikan Police Department  (KPD) is currently assessing how                                                               
it handles sexual  assault crimes. KPD wants  to provide training                                                               
to enhance  officer interview skills  and to help  the department                                                               
incorporate emotional  support for  victims. He  said he  was not                                                               
aware of any  sex trafficking cases, but the  KPD has experienced                                                               
a number  of enticement cases.  KPD works with other  agencies in                                                               
the Lower  48 to  ensure that  perpetrators are  held accountable                                                               
for their actions.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:06:45 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES  asked him to  talk about training to  address the                                                               
disturbing crime trends, his  experience with officer misconduct,                                                               
and an outline of the council's disciplinary process.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHIEF WHITE responded that KPD  trains its detectives in forensic                                                               
child  interviewing  techniques.  He  echoed  the  importance  of                                                               
developing  a better  coalition between  stakeholders, advocates,                                                               
health care  providers, prosecutors and the  police department to                                                               
get  the best  results in  sexual assault  and domestic  violence                                                               
cases.  KPD  has made  some  leaps  with  DNA testing  with  good                                                               
results.  He said,  "If  you  want the  best  outcomes, you  need                                                               
highly  trained  officers."  KPD's  goal  is  to  achieve  highly                                                               
trained and proficient officers.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
He   indicated  that   he  has   handled  instances   of  officer                                                               
misconduct,  including  the  need   to  report  officers  to  the                                                               
council. He  acknowledged that the department  loses public trust                                                               
when officers abuse  their law power to the extent  that they are                                                               
reported to the  council. When an officer in  Juneau has problems                                                               
that require intervention, it will  also affect other departments                                                               
in the  region, and it  makes police officers'  job exponentially                                                               
more  difficult.  He  reiterated  the  importance  of  developing                                                               
working relationships with the communities  who need to trust law                                                               
enforcement. The  council provides the process  to discipline and                                                               
remove law  enforcement officers whose inappropriate  behavior or                                                               
actions  have led  to referral  to  the council  for action.  The                                                               
council's  role  is to  screen  cases  and maintain  the  highest                                                               
standards for the state.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL noted  that the  Alaska  Police Standards  Council                                                               
consists  of  four chief  administrative  officers  or chiefs  of                                                               
police and the committee was reviewing two of them today.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:10:13 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR   REINBOLD   said   she    was   impressed   with   their                                                               
qualifications. She  asked whether he  has enough tools  to train                                                               
police officers on cybercrimes.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHIEF WHITE  said he serves  on a  task force with  the Anchorage                                                               
Police   Department   and   the  Alaska   State   Troopers   that                                                               
collaborates to  keep current on  cybercrimes. KPD has  an active                                                               
investigative  division working  on enticement  crimes and  child                                                               
pornography.  They have  received specialized  equipment to  work                                                               
these cases  and it  have had good  results in  prosecuting these                                                               
cases.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:12:15 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD  thanked him for  working with  federal agencies                                                               
and  commended his  coordination with  other agencies.  She noted                                                               
the audit  on the crime lab,  which can provide analysis  to help                                                               
obtain convictions.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL thanked Chief White for his willingness to serve.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHIEF WHITE said the council's  work is very important to Alaska,                                                               
its  citizens,  and the  communities.  The  council helps  ensure                                                               
there are  highly qualified and  trained officers to  enhance the                                                               
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:14:49 PM                                                                                                                    
JENNIFER WINKELMAN,  Appointee, Alaska Police  Standards Council,                                                               
Department of Public Safety; Director,  Division of Probation and                                                               
Parole and  Pretrial; Acting  Deputy Commissioner,  Department of                                                               
Corrections,   Juneau,  Alaska,   said   she  appreciated   being                                                               
reappointed to  the correctional administrative  officer position                                                               
on  the  Alaska Police  Standards  Council.  She added  that  the                                                               
council  also  provides   certification  for  probation,  parole,                                                               
pretrial, and correctional officers.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
She  related that  she is  a fourth  generation Alaskan.  She was                                                               
born  and  raised  in  Fairbanks,  and  she  graduated  from  the                                                               
University of Alaska Fairbanks with  a Bachelor of Arts degree in                                                               
Justice and an  Associate of Applied Science  degree in Paralegal                                                               
Studies.  She has  served at  the Department  of Corrections  for                                                               
nearly 20 years and is passionate about her work.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WINKELMAN said  she has  a  strong interest  in serving  her                                                               
community.  She  believes  that   the  council  is  important  to                                                               
maintain   professionalism   and   integrity   within   the   law                                                               
enforcement community, which correlates to public safety.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
She  related that  when she  became director  at the  Division of                                                               
Pretrial,  Probation,  and Parole,  she  was  presented with  the                                                               
opportunity to serve  on this council. She viewed it  as an honor                                                               
and  privilege to  serve in  a  greater capacity  outside of  the                                                               
Department of Corrections.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WINKELMAN said  that as  a  leader in  corrections, she  has                                                               
learned  that   to  successfully   promote  public   safety,  the                                                               
department  cannot operate  in a  silo.  Instead, the  department                                                               
must work  and train  together as  a community.  She acknowledged                                                               
that  the state  has  encountered difficulty  in recruitment  and                                                               
retention of law  enforcement. She offered her  view that serving                                                               
on this council  can provide insight to  opportunities to produce                                                               
and maintain  highly trained  officers to  protect the  state and                                                               
restore  the public's  trust  in law  enforcement.  She said  she                                                               
believes in the work peace  officers provide, but the system must                                                               
have checks  and balances because  of the latitude  and authority                                                               
provided to law enforcement.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
She said  she has observed cases  of misconduct as a  manager and                                                               
as  a council  member in  the  past year.  She has  gained a  new                                                               
perspective from  serving on the  council, but she also  brings a                                                               
broad statewide  perspective from her experience  working for the                                                               
Department  of  Corrections ranging  from  offices  in Barrow  to                                                               
Ketchikan, although she  has not lived in rural  Alaska. She said                                                               
that these experiences have given  her knowledge of the strengths                                                               
and struggles  that exist in  terms of staffing and  unique cases                                                               
in  Alaska.  She emphasized  the  importance  of law  enforcement                                                               
agencies  and  organizations  working   together  as  a  team  to                                                               
accomplish their mission.  She offered her view  that the council                                                               
lives by its mission and core  services. She brings her skills to                                                               
the  council,  including  that  she   listens  and  is  fair  and                                                               
impartial   in  making   decisions  that   impact  officers   and                                                               
communities.   She  considers   the   facts  before   formulating                                                               
decisions,  based  on safety  in  communities.  The career  field                                                               
evolves with  technology and tools,  but there is a  necessity to                                                               
ensure  that  Alaska  produces  highly  skilled  law  enforcement                                                               
agents with morals and integrity.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:21:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD  said she initially had  concerns about regional                                                               
balance  on the  council, but  after  hearing about  her work  in                                                               
rural Alaska, she  feels more comfortable. She  encouraged her to                                                               
network  with law  enforcement in  Southcentral and  to encourage                                                               
officers not to forget the impact crimes has on victims.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:22:42 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. WINKELMAN said  she was committed to do  so. She acknowledged                                                               
that  the council  members  subject to  hearings  today are  from                                                               
Southeast Alaska,  but several other  members on the  council are                                                               
from  other  areas  of  the  state.  She  identified  the  common                                                               
denominator as the victim.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  asked her  to describe some  of the  unique issues                                                               
related to standards and training.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WINKELMAN   replied  it  is  important   that  officers  and                                                               
personnel who  interact with  victims receive  additional victim-                                                               
sensitive  training to  understand the  victim's perspective  and                                                               
the  trauma   the  victims  have  suffered.   She  described  the                                                               
probation  officer's  containment  model used  to  supervise  sex                                                               
offenders,  which  consists  of  a team  approach  to  cover  all                                                               
aspects  of the  defendant. She  said  she views  working in  the                                                               
system in  the same  way, that  correctional and  law enforcement                                                               
officers, victims, the attorneys,  courts, and advocates must all                                                               
work together.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:26:23 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGHES   said  correctional   officers  hold   a  unique                                                               
position, but  drugs are getting  into the prisons  and substance                                                               
abuse is  underlying all crimes.  She asked if the  council could                                                               
employ any best  practices to train other officers to  pick up on                                                               
misconduct by other correctional officers  to root out these drug                                                               
problems.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WINKELMAN answered  that it  is  important for  correctional                                                               
officers  to  fall  under  the   council  to  help  them  achieve                                                               
professionalism.  She said  that she  is not  aware of  a certain                                                               
training, but she  will be on the lookout  for specific training,                                                               
so  officers receive  best practices  training. She  acknowledged                                                               
that these types of problems can tarnish the agency.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:29:41 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL  noted the difference  in minimum age, which  is 19                                                               
years of age for employees who work  in jails but 21 years of age                                                               
for  employees  who  work  in prisons.  Because  of  the  general                                                               
shortage of  law enforcement officers,  he asked  her perspective                                                               
of establishing  a minimum 19  years of  age for officers  in all                                                               
facilities.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WINKELMAN said  she  was interested  in  exploring this.  It                                                               
would be  a regulation change  since the Alaska  Police Standards                                                               
Council requires a minimum age of  21. She was unsure if changing                                                               
the age would pose any danger.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:31:43 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL  opened public testimony, and  after determining no                                                               
one   wished  to   testify,  closed   public  testimony   on  the                                                               
confirmation hearings  for Ed Mercer, Joseph  White, and Jennifer                                                               
Winkelman.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He  read a  portion of  the fact  sheet, that  the Alaska  Police                                                               
Standards Council consists of  four chief administrative officers                                                               
or chiefs  of police  of local  governments; the  commissioner of                                                               
public safety or  a designee; the commissioner  of corrections or                                                               
a designee; two persons, each of  who has been certified for five                                                               
years or  more by  the council  under this  chapter, one  of whom                                                               
serves as a police officer and  one of whom serves as a probation                                                               
officer,  parole  officer,  municipal  correctional  officer,  or                                                               
correctional  officer;  one correctional  administrative  officer                                                               
who is employed  at the level of deputy director  or higher; and,                                                               
four members  of the public at  large with at least  two from the                                                               
communities of 2,500 population or less.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:33:37 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MICCICHE stated  that in  accordance with  AS 39.05.080,                                                               
the  Senate   Judiciary  Standing  Committee  has   reviewed  the                                                               
following  and  recommends the  appointments  be  forwarded to  a                                                               
joint session for consideration:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Alaska Police Standards Council                                                                                               
Ed Mercer - Juneau                                                                                                              
Joseph White - Ketchikan                                                                                                        
Jennifer Winkelman -Juneau                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:33:58 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COGHILL   reminded  members   that  signing   the  reports                                                               
regarding  appointments  to  boards  and commissions  in  no  way                                                               
reflects  individual  members'  approval or  disapproval  of  the                                                               
appointees;  the nominations  are  merely forwarded  to the  full                                                               
legislature for confirmation or rejection.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:34:56 PM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair Coghill  adjourned the Senate Judiciary  Standing Committee                                                               
meeting at 2:34 p.m.                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
JUD Police Standards Council Mercer #1 .pdf SJUD 3/2/2020 1:30:00 PM
Ed Mercer Resume
JUD Police Standards Council White #1 .pdf SJUD 3/2/2020 1:30:00 PM
Joseph White Resume
JUD Police Standards Council Winkelman #1 .pdf SJUD 3/2/2020 1:30:00 PM
Jennifer Winkleman Resume