Crime and Public Safety

Crime has become epidemic in the MatSu, fueled mainly by methamphetamine and opiates. I have talked with Alaska State Troopers that work the front line, and one told me that offenders are often back on the street before they finish processing their paperwork. We must reform our criminal justice system to make certain drug related offenses more costly to the manufacturers and dealers of these life-destroying substances. If a home is used to manufacture meth the property should be seized by the Borough and auctioned off, with proceeds going to drug rehabilitation and counseling programs. In some states property seizures have become the property of the police, and that has become problematic on many levels. If the home is owned by a third party found to have no knowledge of the illicit activity, then perhaps a three strikes rule could be implemented. I have seen homes where the meth cook goes to prison only to have a new meth cook living in the same home a month later… Property ownership should have minimal responsibility as to how that property is utilized, and if it is found to be a repeated festering sore on the community, the rights of ownership should be forfeit. Alaska has some of the finest law enforcement in America. While our per capita crime statistics are high, our incidents of officer misconduct are quite low. The standards of the Alaska State Troopers are in keeping with the highest traditions of law enforcement, and all law enforcement agencies throughout the state should be following their model and hiring from their ranks whenever possible. While I understand that there is a specific need for elite units such as SWAT to be properly equipped to respond to almost any given situation, I oppose the general “militarization” of community police.  If you send in a force equipped for a war zone that is precisely what you are creating. The main goal of all law enforcement should always be de-escalation, not escalating beyond all reason.

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