Lisa Murkowski

10/18/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/18/2019 07:50

Alaska Congressional Delegation Applauds Historic DOJ Public Safety Investments for Alaska

10.18.19

U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young, all R-Alaska, today applauded the Department of Justice's announcement that Attorney General Barr will award $42 million in grant funding to improve public safety in rural Alaska. Specifically, the funding aims to address the lack of law enforcement in communities across Alaska through support for Alaska Native villages, tribes, and victim services. Attorney General Barr made the announcement during a teleconference address to the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention in Fairbanks.

'In the case of rural public safety, good governance requires cooperation, trust, resources, and determination. It's encouraging to know we are seeing more of that each and every day,' said Senator Murkowski. 'Thank you to Attorney General Barr for reinforcing his commitment and follow-through to the public safety crisis in rural Alaska. These investments announced today demonstrate the tremendous value in hearing from Alaskans firsthand and seeing conditions on the ground to truly recognize the severity of the crisis. I thank the administration for their continued partnership and collaboration. We've been given a substantial boost to addressing the crisis, and I look forward to continuing this significant work.'

'We are extremely grateful to Attorney General Barr for coming to Alaska-for listening and learning and for taking very significant concrete and decisive action,' said Senator Sullivan. 'We have a public safety crisis in our state. Communities throughout Alaska have been pleading for help. At long last, the federal government is recognizing its responsibility to help keep us safe by taking this historic action. These funds will go far to bolster the public safety presence in rural communities across the state - and help realize the goal of a trained law enforcement presence in every community-the same basic protections that communities in the Lower 48 enjoy.'

'Alaskans know that our state's vast geography presents unique challenges, especially for law enforcement in our rural Native villages. Horrifying stories of homicide, sexual assault, and other violent crimes continue to make headlines, so it is critical that we are doing all that we can to bring perpetrators to justice,' said Congressman Young. 'Attorney General William Barr has been a strong partner for Alaska as we work to turn the tide against crime and create safer, stronger communities. This funding from the Department of Justice will be critical in protecting families in our Native communities and ensuring children can grow up in neighborhoods that are safe and secure. I am proud to stand with Senators Murkowski and Sullivan as we continue working together to protect our state's most vulnerable. Alaskans have my commitment that I will keep working with both our Delegation and the Administration to ensure that our rural areas have the tools and resources they need to keep Alaskans safe.'

BACKGROUND:

These various grants are being awarded directly to Alaska Native tribes and tribal designees through the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation - which streamlines the application process and increases access to various public safety focused grants for tribes - and the Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside Program - which assists tribes to implement and improve services for victims of crime.