public safety

Alaska has the nation’s highest rates of sexual assault, and the state wants to improve how it responds to people who report these crimes to the Alaska State Troopers. A researcher leading the project is asking victim-survivors in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta for help.

Nome police begin audit on 14 years of cases, training with FBI

May 31, 2019

For more than a year, Nome community members have pushed the Nome Police Department to change the way sexual assault cases are handled. Now, the police department is auditing old sexual assault cases and moving forward with new training.

“The police department’s job is to investigate that crime, to do it professionally, to do it thoroughly, and do it accurately, and to submit that information to the DA,” said Bob Pruckner, an investigator recently hired to work with NPD.

Nome citizens continue to have concerns about police department

May 30, 2019

For nearly a year, Nome citizens have publicly cried out for transparency and accountability from their police department. In September, the department hired a new police chief and underwent numerous staffing changes.

Nome City Council meetings aren’t normally crowded affairs, but late in the summer of 2018, that changed. Nome citizens had a message for the Council.

The statistics tracking the number of Native women who have disappeared in the U.S. are tough.

And Alaska, with its small population, has the fourth largest number of missing or murdered Native women. Anchorage has the third highest number of all the cities surveyed in a report from the Seattle-based Urban Indian Health Institute.

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.

New Juneau officers bring diversity, depth to police department

Mar 14, 2019

The Juneau Police Department, like many other departments across the state, doesn’t have enough have officers to adequately cover the community. But the department celebrated a small success recently.

Not only will the two latest recruits be a welcome relief for the veteran officers, but they will also add to the department’s diversity.

The two young men recited the officer’s oath during a recent ceremony at the Juneau Police Department. New police badges were then pinned to their uniform, marking the start of their new career in law enforcement.

Joaqlin Estus / KNBA 90.3 FM

By Joaqlin Estus, KNBA - Anchorage

Aug. 5, 2016

Organizers of a wellness summit in Palmer hoped for 300 participants and were pleased more than 500 people came together Thursday [Aug. 4, 2016] to talk about the problem of opioid addictions, and the growing number of deaths due to overdoses of heroin and prescription painkillers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone.  

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska said a meeting last fall with several women in recovery opened his eyes to the problem. And he organized the wellness summit to find solutions before it gets worse.

Climate change and Alaska Natives: 

Shores bare of sea ice expose Kivalina to fierce fall storms

By Joaqlin Estus

Here’s the first in a series of stories on climate change and Alaska Natives. We’ll start by hearing about impacts to Kivalina, an Inupiaq village of about 400 people founded by missionaries in 1905 and located 80 miles northwest of Kotzebue.