July 29, 2019 – Late last week the Department of Public Safety received notice that the U.S. Department of Justice approved DPS’s grant application to receive approximately $6 million through the Emergency Federal Law Enforcement Assistance Program. The two-year grant is a portion of the $10 million in funds announced at the end of June by U.S. Attorney General William Barr.
“Public safety is priority number one of my administration. U.S. Attorney General Barr saw firsthand that our rural communities could benefit with some additional tools to bolster Alaska’s rural public safety, and he listened,” said Governor Michael J. Dunleavy. “This $6 million commitment will reinforce the positive changes we are making through tightening Alaska’s crime laws and filling the ranks of the Alaska State Troopers – I thank the U.S. Department of Justice for their continued support of Alaskans and look forward to continued collaboration on improving rural public safety in discussion with rural Alaskan stakeholders, the US Department of Justice, the State of Alaska and its various departments.”
The funds are expected to be available to DPS October 1, 2019, to provide to communities or Native corporations that can identify and implement needed law enforcement infrastructure projects, such as jails or office space.
“From day one of this administration we have fostered strong partnerships to find solutions to improve public safety in our rural communities,” said Commissioner Amanda Price. “The Emergency Law Enforcement Declaration by DOJ reinforces the strides we’ve already taken to provide a stronger law enforcement presence where it is needed most. DPS is committed to helping our partner agencies to prioritize individual community needs to get the maximum benefit from this funding.”
Until the funding comes to fruition, DPS will work to define the process of allocating it to our rural partner agencies.