Rural Alaskans know first-hand the need for public safety resources that protect our families and communities. In remote districts like ours, the resources to provide justice or protection from immediate harm may be hundreds of miles and a plane ride away. This is not acceptable.

I will work to protect public safety programs - like the Village Public Safety Officer (VPSO) program - from funding reductions and indirect rate caps. We must ensure flexibility of funding within the department, so annual appropriations are used in ways that meet programmatic needs. The state must work with communities and tribes to expand funding and jurisdiction of the VPSO program.

We must have a streamlined process for municipal, tribal, state and federal enforcement officials to work together and combine resources, to maximize services for residents in rural Alaska.

Iā€™m also interested in pursuing how to expand tribal justice tools authorized under federal law - Tribal Court Diversion and Tribal Domestic Violence Protective Orders - so our local leaders are enabled to better protect their members.

Localizing authority, jurisdiction, and law enforcement will ensure more of our remote communities have first responders who are empowered to be responsive and our families are safe from harm.