On Jan. 24, the Village Public Safety Officer working group adopted the final version of the recommendations it introduced earlier this month.
There was only one substantive change to the recommendations: the working group now recommends keeping unfunded mandates for the VPSO program because of the state budget shortage. Previously, the group had recommended repealing all unfunded mandates.
The report won praise from stakeholders gathered in the room, which included the Tanana Chiefs Conference and the Y-K Delta’s Association of Village Council Presidents, all of whom gave input to the report.
Will Mayo is the executive director of the Tanana Chiefs Conference and co-chairs the Alaska Federation of Natives.
“As I was reading the findings and recommendations, it was so absolutely enjoyable to see just to see the heart of this working group coming out and really caring and getting it,” Mayo said.
The Alaska Department of Public Safety, however, did not comment on the report. The department’s representative at the hearing said that staff turnover prevented the department from thoroughly reviewing the document.
The working group will send the report to the Legislature to be drafted into a bill.