Alaska legislators suggest changes to public safety program

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Alaska legislators have proposed changes to key elements of the state’s Village Public Safety Officer Program. The Anchorage Daily News reported in partnership with ProPublica that one in three communities in the state has no police of any kind. Officials say the number of officers fell to a record-low 38 compared to the more than 100 in 2012. Legislators say the working group spent five months seeking ways to fix the program, which includes placing more certified officers in rural Alaska, increasing morale among current officers and retaining village-based first-responders who know their communities best. The working group says its short-term ideas could be implemented within a year.