Sullivan-Leonard to DPS in urgent plea: Send 6 more Troopers to Valley - Must Read Alaska
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Monday, December 16, 2019
HomePoliticsSullivan-Leonard to DPS in urgent plea: Send 6 more Troopers to Valley

Sullivan-Leonard to DPS in urgent plea: Send 6 more Troopers to Valley

VALLEY TROOPERS OVERWHELMED

As Gov. Bill Walker turns the state’s attention to his draft climate change policy this week, Mat-Su Rep. Colleen Sullivan-Leonard remains focused on the issue of crime. She has sent Commissioner of Public Safety Walt Monegan a letter with an urgent message:

Send more Alaska State Troopers to the Valley, she pleaded.

Sullivan-Leonard said that at a recent public safety forum hosted by Rep. DeLena Johnson of Palmer, public safety officials identified the need for at least 12 more Troopers. Crime is spiking everywhere, so Sullivan-Leonard will settle for six, for now, for the second-most populated area of the state.

A study earlier this year said that the Mat-Su B detachment of Troopers should have a staff of 71, which would necessitate hiring 26 more.

[Read: Sen. Dan Sullivan to host crime summit in Anchorage]

Whatever the number, Rep. Sullivan-Leonard said the need for more public safety officers should be a top priority of the governor.

Forty-seven Trooper recruits are going through the Public Safety academy in Sitka, Sullivan-Leonard said.

A recent study of Alaska State Troopers in the Mat-Su said the area is “chronically over-utilized,” which is trooper-speak for persistently heavy caseloads. The study, released in March by the University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center, said the detachment handles 48,000 cases per year among its 45 Troopers, or more than 1,000 cases per trooper.

Read the UAA Justice Center report on public safety deficiencies in the Mat-Su:

Mat-Su Trooper Needs Report

 

Gov. Bill Walker rides a tractor during the Seward Fourth of July parade.

Sullivan-Leonard pointed out this evening that climate change and smoke-free laws seem to be a higher priority than public safety in the Governor’s Office, but her constituents identify stopping crime as one of their top priorities.

In the Governor’s recent press release file, he covers many topics, but safety is not among them. Other than signing Bree’s Law and proclaiming “probation officers week” earlier this month, he has been absent on the topic.

 

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • There are not 47 trooper recruits going through the academy, there are 21, and that includes both blue and brown shirts. Even if they all graduate, they can’t all go to the Valley because a) troopers are needed in Fairbanks and Soldotna as well and b) the Valley doesn’t have enough training officers to put them all through field training.

    • Department of Public Safety has posted that there are 47 recruits this year through the Alaska Law Enforcement Training (ALET) facility in Sitka. Out of 47 recruits 17 are slated to be in trooper positions across the state, I want 6 of the 17 for Mat-Su.

  • I recall that Senator Mike Dunleavy attempted to take $50 million out of Walker’s gas line corporation and use it for education and Public Safety. It was voted down.

  • Drug dealer houses have moved locations. Real problems causing crime rates to spike. Dunleavy voted yes to pass the sb91 bill and claims he did in order to get in house to ammend and quit after voting no and left the Caucasus. Clearly our Senate- walker and congress colluded with legislation that is illegal designed too fleece Alaskans and control. Treasonous legislation are sb91 and sb26. This is not poor leadership and worst is these corrupt politicians cover the ballot for the next governor. They make mention of return of pfd confiscated by an out of control rogue government but run and hide from responsibility of the mess our state is in. In my area on kgb Wasilla police assist state troopers and big thanks. It’s outside jurisdiction but need more coverage. Alaskan people need to realize the Alaskan peoples biggest crooks are treasonous politicians like Walker and Dunleavy. Dunleavy. Claims he opposed sb91 but can be verified on a report by anchorage dailey planet report by Mike porcaro titled: ” how did they vote on sb91″

  • The good people of the Mat-Su valley can always tax themselves and form their own police force. We pay for our own police in Anchorage. I paid for them in Juneau when I lived there. I know the Mat-Su Valley is the libertarian tax free paradise, but if you don’t want to pay for law enforcement, don’t bitch about not having it.

    • One of the smallest boroughs in the state and half the population.
      We already have P.P.D and W.P.D asking for the borough to form it’s own police force is ridiculous, that is why we have troopers.
      Maybe if we didn’t have to deal with the overflow of criminal garbage coming out of Anchorage it wouldn’t be such a problem.
      As to your libertarian comment…. We pay sales tax and are banning plastic bags, hardly sounds like a ‘libertarian utopia’.
      Realistically we are just on the slow slide of turning into Anchorage.

  • But…but…but…we’ve had free government for almost 40 years, therefore we MUST be entitled to it, right?

  • Art is right Palmer , Wasilla, & Huston all have Police powers and staff their jurisdictional areas! Where is the most crime I bet it’s in those areas. if a service area needs to be created the Matsu Borough can step up to the plate! Equal protect starts at home …

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