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Thu May 30, 2019, 07:29 AM

Alaska Native leaders call on Attorney General Barr for help, tribal authority to make up for lack

Alaska Native leaders call on Attorney General Barr for help, tribal authority to make up for lack of police

Alaska Native leaders on Wednesday called on U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr for federal aid and tribal authority to prosecute certain crimes, saying that a dangerous lack of law enforcement is growing worse in the state’s most remote communities.

Barr, in Alaska for four days to learn more about the problems, said during his confirmation process earlier this year that he was struck by the challenges facing public safety in Alaska, with its vast, hard-to-reach regions. On Wednesday, speaker after speaker, representing more than 200 Alaska tribes, described how crime in rural Alaska has raised alarms with the number of state-funded Village Public Safety Officers at or near an all-time low.

In Anchorage on the first day of his visit, Barr sat at a long table at a tribal health facility listening to 13 Native leaders from every region, many of whom had flown in to describe a crisis of rural sexual assault, violence and drug use. He said he would work to provide greater security in rural Alaska through his power at the Department of Justice.

“It’s the responsibility of the attorney general to serve all the people of the United States, every state, every community,” Barr said. “It’s critical our legal system work for every American and no one be left out of that.”

Read more: https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/rural-alaska/2019/05/30/alaska-native-leaders-call-on-attorney-general-barr-for-help-tribal-authority-to-make-up-for-lack-of-police/
(Anchorage Daily News)

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