Chickaloon Tribal Police will not get Alaska State Troopers’ special commissions after all

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Chickaloon Post Office. Photo credit: Jimmy Benson via Flickr.

Today Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner James Cockrell released the following statement regarding the proposed issuance of State of Alaska Special Commissions to the Chickaloon Tribal Police Department:

“After receiving hundreds of comments from across the Matanuska Susitna Valley, I have decided to not move forward with issuing special commissions to the Chickaloon Tribal Police Department. My team and I received a significant amount of feedback from community members which demonstrated continued community consultation and relationship building is needed before special commissions can be considered. Without public trust, policing in any community would be nearly impossible. DPS will continue to work with tribes across the state to improve public safety outcomes for Alaska’s first people.” 

This decision does not impact any of the inherent criminal justice authority held by tribal governments or currently delegated to tribal governments by the federal government.

The matter is highly controversial in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, where some members of the Chickaloon area want tribal police to have expanded powers, while others object to it.

Under the terms of the memorandum of understanding between DPS and select members of the Chickaloon Police Department, officers would have been authorized to address State of Alaska Title 11 misdemeanor crimes, misconduct involving controlled substances, and sex trafficking offenses. However, the enforcement would be limited in scope, with no authority granted for traffic enforcement, traffic stops, or vehicle pursuits on the Glenn Highway.

The decision to grant a special commission has sparked debate within the community, particularly regarding the implications for tribal sovereignty and jurisdiction.

Watch proceedings from a community town hall meeting about the proposal that took place in 2022:

22 COMMENTS

  1. Tim Pool said it perfectly, paraphrased of course. When the government makes big enough clowns of themselves, nobody is going to respect the men in clowns suits authority any longer. Unelected bureaucrats are the clowns, and the alphabet bois are the ones they use to push their agenda.

    If these clowns want their own police they need to go onto a reservation.

    • Early in the development of Anchorage. politicians, land developers and realtors intentionally made it so Natives could not own or rent property in neighborhoods such as Roger’s Park, South Addition, Bootleggers Cove, Forrest Park and Turnagain. These wealthy whit people pushed people of color into marginalized neighborhoods such as Eastchester Flats. Some of these companies are still in business today.

      Just exactly who is doing what to whom, here, WUC ?

  2. Cockrell is apparently clueless on tribal authority. There is no “criminal justice authority” held by any tribes in Alaska. Except for Metlakatla, no tribe in Alaska has, or owns, land. Without jurisdiction over LAND there is no “authority”. DPS ended this program because they finally pulled their head out and saw the light of day.

  3. anyone actually watch the video???. bunch of methed up grandmas with babysitters that cant accept thr gender.
    the amount of twitching. chiefs crew gotta racket on em too. wow. no wonder they need more. lol

  4. Good yes, until illegals start arriving, then what? Don’t fool yourself, they’re coming, there’s the lure of a PFD and our lawmakers don’t give a crap, never had, never will.

    • One of the questions when applying for a PFD is whether you are a US citizen or legal resident. If you check that box no, you are ineligible for a PFD.

      And lying on a PFD application is a crime and it is prosecuted. Just look at those fools on Discovery, the Alaskan Bush family. None of them were residents and they got PFDs. Daddy and a couple sons got convicted when they took the fall for the whole fam and had to pay back like $10k.

      Do I think there should be harsher penalties for lying on a PFD application? Hell yes

  5. Good decision. Thankfully special commissions are given to individual officers on a force not to a department unilaterally but Chickaloon Tribal Government as a whole has become woke and a bit at odds with the majority opinion of the rest of the MatSu not to mention the accusations of racism coming from the tribal chief toward those who ask hard questions about the judicial and sovereign government issues raised at the three community and community council meetings I’ve attended. With a different focus and political posture coming from the tribal government maybe community relations can be mended over the coming decades but it will probably take that long for an ideological transformation to make its way to the upper levels of the tribal government there.

  6. The Harrison’s are the some of the biggest racists in Alaska. They have a loooong history of victimhood. A bunch of Non producing jerks that have made a living on handouts. The big question is how did the Troopers ever begin to considered to empower a group that are so polarizing to white people?

    • Amen! I’ve met a couple of them and they were seriously racist. My deceased father-in-law (born in 1894 in the deep south) would look like a piker by comparison.

  7. I have followed this very little but the valley could certainly use more law enforcement. I am wondering if Chickaloon sends their officers to the academy in Sitka? Does anyone know?

  8. As a retired Trooper who worked the Chickaloon area… This should have never been introduced. A bad idea all around., It appears AST leadership was pandering to the “loonies” in Chickaloon.

  9. VAWA Reauthorization Act of 2022 might answer a question or two for many Alaskans.

    I believe that working together in collaboration and government to government is of the utmost importance in protecting our children, grandchildren and communities from perpetrators and liars.

    How can government-to-government collaboration and working together with 3 layers of governments be in the best interest of the public safety and well being?

    Did the Attorney General and U.S. DOI Secretary Haaland sign a MOA with the State and/or Tribe? If yes, what is the MOA between the Tribe, Attorney General and the U.S. DOI Secretary Haaland?

    ‘https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R47570/2#:~:text=The%20act%20authorized%20grants%20to,federal%20sex%20offenders%20and%20mandating

    ‘https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/03/16/fact-sheet-reauthorization-of-the-violence-against-women-act-vawa/

  10. How are the boundaries determined when the tribe has no reservation? There land is private just like every one else’s property.

  11. Get with program: different zip codes must get different, disparate treatment because zip code. Keep it rill Alaska.

  12. Chickaloon Justice Director Donna Anthony, in the YouTube video of the public meeting made a comment about whether residents think it’s right for her department to send a white person who assaults a tribal member to federal court. The resounding answer should be NO, NO, NO, not under any circumstances. Her department should not be detaining any white person for any purpose, it really doesn’t matter how much police experience she has or how much the Chickaloon tribe pays her. Tribal entities are not sovereign in the state of Alaska, with one exception, and that’s not Chickaloon. What’s wrong with calling the Alaska State Troopers when there’s a violation of state law like is done in the rest of the state? What’s wrong with stationing a Village Police Officer in Chickaloon to be eyes and ears for the Alaska State Troopers? I thank every person who stood up against this MOU concept. Rauscher is on the WRONG path here. Tribal entities are only powerful right now because of all the federal dollars flowing into their bank accounts. When federal grants stop, they will once again come down to earth and be just like their neighbors, other Alaskans. It’s time. Let’s stop with the divisiveness. Alaska doesn’t need that.

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