Alaska

Meet the Momentum would be remiss if we did not acknowledge the policing crisis happening throughout Alaska. Recent reports suggest that almost ⅓ of villages across the state do not have adequate law enforcement staff, and those that do are occasionally staffed by officers who have criminal records themselves.

For this reason, Meet the Momentum felt it prudent to create a template specific to the needs of Alaska’s residents--namely that they can trust that their police officers follow the same laws that they enforce. We have also included templates below pertaining to the five policy issues. Hopefully, as you call on your lawmakers to rebuild Alaska’s police capabilities, you can also address at an early stage the problems that plague law enforcement agencies around the nation.


Subject: Address the state policing crisis

Dear [Representative, Senator, Governor],

Alaska today faces a crisis in policing. Recent reports suggest that almost ⅓ of villages across the state do not have adequate law enforcement staff, and those that do are occasionally staffed by officers who have criminal records themselves. This is a disservice to all Alaskans, especially Alaska Natives who are disproportionately impacted by the lack of police services. I ask that you work with your colleagues to invest in community solutions (like the ones our state already uses to provide healthcare) and rebuild our police force.

Help our state Meet the Momentum and demand justice in every community.

Your constituent,
[Name, Zip Code]

What to do here

Click a "Get Template" button to get an email template about a specific issue. Edit the template to connect on a more personal level with your lawmaker. See the Contacting Logistics page for information about how to write an effective email to your lawmakers. Get your lawmakers' emails with the search box to the right. Send the email!

Be sure to check out the Next Steps at the bottom of the page. Go to the References/Further Reading page to see our sources and do some research of your own.

Last updated March 5, 2020

Summary

Key:

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Legislation Achieved

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Some Progress

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No Progress

Demilitarization

Learn about demilitarization and the specific issues below on the Demilitarization page (opens in a new window).

 

No knock warrants

No Progress:

Alaska has not yet enacted a law eliminating the use of no-knock warrants.

1033 purchases

No Progress:

Alaska has not yet enacted a law ending its participation in programs that facilitate the transfer of military weapons from the federal government to police departments.

Military style training

No Progress:

Alaska has not yet enacted a law refocusing training away from self-defense responses and towards community centered training like that offered by Blue Courage.

SWAT data

No Progress:

Alaska has not yet enacted a law requiring the recording and cataloging of SWAT team use.

For Profit Policing

Learn about for profit policing and the specific issues below on the For Profit Policing page (opens in a new window).

 

Civil asset forfeiture

No Progress:

Alaska has not fully addressed the issue of civil asset forfeiture

Quotas

No Progress:

Alaska has not yet enacted a law ending quotas for low-level arrests.

Cost of misconduct

No Progress:

Alaska has not yet enacted a law requiring police departments (not state general funds) to cover the cost of misconduct.

Broken Windows Policing

Learn about broken windows policing and the specific issues below on the Broken Windows Policing page (opens in a new window).

 

Minor offenses

No Progress:

Alaska has not yet enacted a law decriminalizing minor offenses that do not threaten public safety such as spitting and loitering.

Objective justification for stops

No Progress:

Alaska has not yet enacted a law requiring officers to establish objective justification for making a stop (i.e. not simply for furtive movement, suspicious activity, or matching a generalized description).

Reporting stop details

No Progress:

Alaska has not yet enacted a law requiring comprehensive reporting of police stops (noting location, race, gender, whether force was used and whether a firearm was found).

Pending Legislation: In January 2021, Senator Gray-Jackson introduced a package of legislative reform, including SB 2 which would establish comprehensive reporting requirements for Alaska police officers.

Accountability

Learn about accountability and the specific issues below on the Accountability page (opens in a new window).

 

Reckless civil rights violation

No Progress:

Alaska has not yet enacted a law lowering the prosecution requirement from ‘willful’ to ‘reckless’ deprivation of another’s rights.

Independent investigation

No Progress:

Alaska has not yet enacted a law institutionalizing an independent prosecutor within the state’s Department of Justice for instances of police misconduct.

Qualified immunity

No Progress:

Alaska has not yet enacted a law ending qualified immunity.

Reinvesting in Communities

Learn about reinvesting in communities and the specific issues below on the Reinvesting in Communities page (opens in a new window).

 

Mental health response

No Progress:

Alaska has not yet enacted a law creating and funding a mental health task force available to respond to crisis calls (in lieu of police).

Education, Housing, Community Health Resources

No Progress:

It is important to note that policing does not address the roots of social disadvantage and barriers to (economic) opportunity that often lead to crime. Nor should police be burdened with that responsibility.
Without access to quality resources in healthcare, education, and housing, our cities, neighborhoods, and families will continue to suffer. We should instead reassess the budgets of the state government and reinvest in the services that matter most.

Next Steps

No matter what, register to vote:

Contacting officials is just one piece of the puzzle we can't stop there. We need to make sure our elected officials reflect our values and support reform at every level of government. Register here:

To keep these policies at the forefront:

Keep emailing about them (if you just finished the 5 Days Challenge, keep up the schedule—set reminders in your phone to email about each issue on its specific day).

To ask for more than this:

Use our templates as a model to ask for bigger changes. Color for Change and The Movement for Black Lives both have specific policy related to a reimagined law enforcement system. If you think there are additional policies we ought to consider, send your thoughts our way.

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