Mat-Su Borough considers launching new police force

Palmer farmland, the Butte and Lazy Mountain (Emily Russell/Alaska Public Media)

Alaska’s second largest municipality is considering options to deal with crime including a proposal to launch a new police force.

The Anchorage Daily News reported Sunday that the Matanuska-Susitna Borough is looking at starting a borough police force with more than 100 officers.

Officials say the Mat-Su force would handle calls outside the cities of Palmer and Wasilla.

Officials say the open areas of the borough north of Anchorage are patrolled by only about a half-dozen Alaska State Troopers at once.

Other options under consideration include smaller “police service areas” and a 21-member task force of existing law enforcement agencies focused on drug and property crimes.

Officials are also considering enhanced safety measures such as additional code enforcement, drug addiction treatment, neighborhood watch and security cameras.