Letter of Agreement between BPD and AST Drug Enforcement Unit on council’s agenda

A letter of agreement between the City of Bethel Police Department and the Department of Public Safety, Alaska State Troopers Statewide Drug Enforcement Unit to formalize the working agreement between the Bethel PD and the AST to work together through a drug and alcohol task force is on council’s agenda, February 26th, 2019.

Proposed Action Memorandum 19-19 is to be introduced by City Manager Peter Williams.

“This Letter of Agreement recognizes the need for coordination in enforcement of state drug and alcohol laws in Alaska and specifically in the Bethel area. This Agreement is entered into with the intent of promoting cooperation between the Department of Public Safety, Alaska State Troopers, Statewide Drug Enforcement Unit (AST, SDEU, Department) and the Bethel Police Department (BPD),” states the letter.

The proposed task force plans to conduct undercover investigations involving drugs and alcohol in Alaska and specifically in the Bethel area and the Yukon-Kuskokwim Region, and will assist other police agencies located within that area in the interdiction and investigation of sale and possession of illicit drugs and alcohol. Supervision and control of drug and alcohol enforcement efforts outside the jurisdiction of municipal police agencies but within Alaska shall rest with the SDEU.

According to the proposed agreement, one BPD officer will be assigned to the task force which will be supervised by an Alaska State Trooper Sergeant. In addition, AST will provide two additional AST investigators. Access to other investigators from SDEU will be provided as needed.

The goal of this agreement, states the letter, is to facilitate the following activities:

a) The disruption of illicit drug and alcohol traffic in the State of Alaska, primarily in the Bethel area.

b) Gather and report intelligence data relating to the trafficking in narcotics, dangerous drugs and illicit alcohol in Alaska.

c) Conduct undercover operations where appropriate and engage in other traditional methods of investigation in order that violators of Alaska law and Federal law, relating to illicit drug and alcohol trafficking, might be effectively prosecuted in Alaska and Federal courts.

If approved by council, the term of the agreement shall be from the date of signature by both agency representatives for a period of 24 months OR until dissolved by mutual consent.