U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr is coming to Alaska this week. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, said he will focus on rural law enforcement, particularly for the dozens of Alaska villages that have no police officers.
On Alaska Public Media’s “Talk of Alaska” show Tuesday, host Lori Townsend asked Sullivan how he feels about Indian Country jurisdiction. That is, letting Alaska tribes enforce tribal law to fight crime.
“Do you favor allowing them to have the kind of police powers in their villages that Lower 48 tribes have in reservation communities?” Townsend asked.
“Well, it’s an issue that we’re looking at,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan did not take a stand on an Indian Country pilot program in the House version of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization bill. The program, beefed up by Alaska Republican Congressman Don Young, would let up to five Alaska Native tribes enforce tribal law to tackle domestic violence.
Townsend asked if he would support keeping the program in the Senate version of the bill.
“I think, you know, we’re going to have a discussion about that. I think you have to look at the different issues with regard to, you know, jurisdictional authority over non-Natives,” Sullivan said. “Those communities are not all Alaska Native communities.”
The broader problem of domestic violence is one of Sullivan’s signature concerns. The senator said he’s working on a series of bills based on the “Choose Respect” campaign he pursued when he was state attorney general.
One of those bills became law last year: The POWER Act requires the chief federal judge of each judicial district to conduct public events promoting free legal services for crime victims.
Alaska has a lot going on right now.
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- Despite the risk of a landslide, Gee Denton refuses to leave her house. “I've had to spend five-and-a-half years in this season of my life begging for people to be responsible for their responsibilities,” she says.
- Former assistant public advocate Kelly Parker filed the lawsuit in Anchorage Superior Court on Oct. 8 against Gov. Mike Dunleavy, his former chief of staff Tuckerman Babcock, and the state of Alaska.
Can high school teams in Southeast Alaska compete with rivals on the North Slope? With esports, it’s possible.Esports is growing in many high schools across Alaska. The sport was sanctioned by the the Alaska School Activities Association in April, and more and more students are getting involved.
- The Army Corps of Engineers says it has sufficient information to rule on a permit for a floating megaship dock in Ward Cove. That’s despite requests from the city of Ketchikan to hold hearings.