STATE’S LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMUNITY WANTS A NEW BOSS
The Alaska Public Safety Employees today announced it is endorsing Mike Dunleavy for governor.
It is the only public employee union to endorse the insurgent populist candidacy of a former rural school teacher who has risen to challenge both a sitting governor and a former U.S. senator.
PSEA Local 803 represents Alaska law enforcement personnel in a variety of labor and employment matters at the State and municipal levels. The PSEA membership includes: State Troopers; State Fish and Wildlife Protection Troopers; Airport Police and Fire Officers at the Anchorage and Fairbanks International Airports; Court Service Officers; Deputy Fire Marshals; Police Department Employees of the City and Borough of Juneau; Public Safety Employees of the City of Unalaska; Police Department Employees of the City and Borough of Sitka; Police Department Employees of the City of Fairbanks; Police Department Employees of the City of Ketchikan; Police Department Employees of the City of Soldotna; and Public Safety Employees of the City of Dillingham.
Crime has been a big campaign issue in the governor’s race, with Alaskans feeling under siege by criminals. The rate for violent crimes, including murder, rape, robbery and assault, increased 7 percent in 2017, and property cries, such as car theft and burglary, rose 6 percent year over year. Crime shows no sign of abating in 2018.
Doug Massie, Local 803 DPS chapter president, said “Now more than ever it’s critical we have a governor that puts public safety first. Mike Dunleavy has lived in rural Alaska. Mike Dunleavy knows that until Alaska is safe, we won’t move forward socially and economically. PSEA trusts Mike Dunleavy to put Alaskans’ public safety first.”
Dunleavy said, “There is no greater issue for any governor and any state than public safety. We’re already having discussion about ideas that we can move forward. It’s going to be a partnership to ensure the public safety we need.”
“We’ve got some of the highest crime rates in the country. The individuals behind me are on the front lines, and they need resources and personnel,” Dunleavy said. The first item in the budget process will ve public safety, he said, “because it is job number one.”
“I look forward to working with public safety officers on addressing recruitment and retention problems. We must ensure our officers in harm’s way have the support they need to do their jobs effectively,” he said.
The decision to back Dunleavy happened through polling of the membership and the political action committee that discussed the candidates and their records at length, Massie explained.
“I’ve known him as a senator and had discussions with him years ago — and he is saying the same things now as he did then, and that is you have to stick to your constitutional mandates, like public safety.”
The Anchorage police union endorsed Mark Begich. None of the public safety unions has endorsed Gov. Bill Walker.