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House committee resumes arming VPSO hearings

By Associated Press 7:04 AM February 4, 2014

Data shows assaults with injuries on Alaska police officers has increased 66 percent since 2002

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – Within the last two years, one village public safety officer has been shot to death and another wounded in separate attacks in separate rural villages hundreds of miles apart in Southwest Alaska.

Those shootings led to a bill sponsored by Rep. Bryce Edgmon allowing the village officers be armed while on duty. The House Community and Regional Affairs Committee will resume hearings on the Edgmon’s bill Tuesday.

Supporters say violence is on the rise in rural Alaska, but there appears to be no recent data to back that assertion up.

However, Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center data shows assaults with injuries on Alaska police officers has increased 66 percent since 2002. But that is statewide data and only included reports from recognized law enforcement officers, which doesn’t include VPSOs.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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