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9/11/14 KNBA News - Officers say searches, civil rights must balance in fight against illegal drugs

Sep 11, 2014

Brenda Wilson, of King Cove, says a community effort is needed to stop the drugs coming into the Aleutian Islands region. "Three years ago, when I was proactive, I had someone tell me, 'Brenda, you better shut up. You're going to end up with a bullet between the eyes.' And I stepped back… it really scared me…. We need everybody's help."
Credit Joaqlin Estus / KNBA 90.3 FM

In 2009-2010, Alaska ranked among the top 10 states in several categories of illegal drug use, something law enforcement and court officials would like to change, but not at the expense of Constitutional rights. That's the message participants heard Wednesday at the "Reclaim Alaska: 2014 Substance Abuse Summit" hosted in Anchorage by the Aleutian-Pribilof Islands Association. Police dogs, searches, anonymous telephone tip lines, and employees' consents to searches are all useful tools in interdicting illicit drugs. But Alaska State Troopers, police, village safety officers, and court attorneys say probable cause, due process, and other civil rights cannot be violated in the process of putting criminals in jail. The conference continues through Friday with sessions on topics such as treatment, rehabilitation, and community planning.

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Russia has begun building military bases in its Arctic Far East. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska says the U.S. is falling behind on building its own Arctic infrastructure, and may be headed toward the realization it's lagging behind not just Russia, but also countries like China and India, which are already building ice-breakers.

About 130 people are participating in the "Reclaim Alaska: 2014 Substance Abuse Summit" being hosted in Anchorage by the Aleutian-Pribilof Islands Association Sept. 10-12, 2014.
Credit Joaqlin Estus / KNBA 90.3 FM