With low pay and few people wanting the jobs, it is that easy in some small Alaska communities for a convicted felon, even someone who has admitted to a sex crime or who was recently released from prison, to be hired with public money to work as a city police officer.
It’s also a violation of state public safety regulations, yet it happens all the time.
In Stebbins alone, all seven of the police officers working as of July 1 have pleaded guilty to domestic violence charges within the past decade. Only one has received formal law enforcement training of any kind.
The current police chief pleaded guilty to throwing a teenage relative to the ground and threatening to kill her after drinking homebrew liquor in 2017. (Alcohol is illegal in the village.) He was hired a year later. He declined to answer questions in person and blocked a reporter on Facebook.