Attorney General William Barr has declared a public-safety emergency in Alaska that will provide $10 million for combating violent crime in rural areas of the state, according to Fox News. The funding would come from the Justice Department.
Alaskan native tribes have not been allowed to form police forces since 1971, and more than 75 native communities don’t have any law enforcement officers. The lack of officers makes responding to crimes difficult.
At times, it can take state troopers hours to respond to a crime. Sexual assault victims have had to travel long distances by boat or plane to get to medical facilities.
“In May, when I visited Alaska, I witnessed firsthand the complex, unique, and dire law enforcement challenges the state of Alaska and its remote Alaska Native communities are facing,” Barr said in a statement from the Justice Department.
“With this emergency declaration, I am directing resources where they are needed most and needed immediately, to support the local law enforcement response in Alaska Native communities, whose people are dealing with extremely high rates of violence.”
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