Alaska State Troopers

Gov. Mike Dunleavy says public safety across Alaska is his number one priority, yet his actions to fulfill that commitment seem counterintuitive to some among legislators, like state Sen Donny Olson, and the public alike.

KNOM highlights a recent incident in a Norton Sound community to show the current state of public safety in Western Alaska.

Courtesy Alaska State Troopers

Thirty State Trooper positions eliminated, more cuts coming

By Joaqlin Estus, KNBA

Rural residents already complain that state troopers are slow to respond to serious crimes and dangerous situations. But as of July first, 30 state trooper positions have been eliminated, and with more lay-offs coming, it's going to get worse--in both urban and rural Alaska.

Legislative impasse continues

Layoff warning notices were sent yesterday (Monday June 1) to thousands of state employees as the legislative impasse over the budget continues. Layoffs take effect if Legislators don't pass a budget by July 1. The Alaska Senate rejected a budget House majority leaders had negotiated with the House minority, and passed a version of the budget similar to what lawmakers passed in  April. The House rejected that budget. The budget now goes to a a conference committee of House and Senate negotiators. 

State Troopers have set up an investigative unit in Palmer to crack down on rising numbers of property t hefts, many related to increasing use of drugs, including heroin. Social workers say there are not enough behavioral therapists to meet the growing need.