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If you are arrested in some small communities across rural Alaska, there might be a chance that the charging officer is a convicted felon.
At least 14 cities in Alaska have employed police officers whose criminal past should have barred them from becoming officers under state law, according to an investigation by ProPublica and the Anchorage Daily News. In Stebbins, Alaska, a village of 646 people, all seven police officers working as of July 4 have been convicted of domestic violence charges and just one has received law enforcement training of any kind.
The article goes on to state the following:
Alaska has the highest per-capita crime rate in the nation, but because of its dearth of people wanting a low-paying job in law enforcement, some villages — often rural and isolated — have turned to hiring people with criminal records that violate hiring standards set forward by the state’s public safety regulations.
The situation is “outrageous” according to Melanie Bahnke, a board member for the Alaska Federation of Natives. She said hiring people “who have the propensity for violence” risks public safety.
Alaska has the highest per-capita crime rate in the nation, but because of its dearth of people wanting a low-paying job in law enforcement, some villages — often rural and isolated — have turned to hiring people with criminal records.https://t.co/tKsGXdKKc8
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) July 18, 2019
New: Dozens of convicted criminals are hired as cops in Alaska communities. Often, they are the only applicants. In Stebbins, every cop has a criminal record, including the chief https://t.co/HH8dc8jdeS
— Anchorage Daily News (@adndotcom) July 18, 2019
“The story of how Alaska communities came to quietly hire criminals as police officers, without consequence or oversight, is the story of how cash-poor local governments found themselves without law enforcement and few options.” via @kylehopkinsAK https://t.co/g6YLYotEKv
— Bethany Barnes (@BetsBarnes) July 18, 2019
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