Nome mayor, ACLU work toward solution for police mishandling of sexual assault cases
Following complaints about the Nome Police Department, action may soon be coming.
Many of those grievances have been from Alaska Native women who claim the department doesn't thoroughly investigate some crimes. They also say sexual assault and rape cases have not received proper attention.
The American Civil Liberties Union is involved and has requested more transparency and accountability from the police. They met with the Nome City Council and provided feedback on an ordinance that would create a public safety commission.
Nome mayor Richard Beneville, who was in Anchorage on Friday, says he's all for it.
"It's the next step," Beneville said. "It's the finishing up of emancipation for god's sake, you know. Because there's truth in what they have said."
Casey Reynolds, communications director for ACLU of Alaska, is hoping for not only an ordinance but one which handles the issue.
"We're hoping a good version is passed," Reynolds said.
He also says it's about restoring faith in law enforcement.
"The Nome Police Department's credibility in the community has been so damaged by years of racially questionable actions, of inaction towards victims. Their reputation's in tatters," he said.
City council meetings are held every second and fourth Monday. Mayor Beneville is unsure when the ordinance will be addressed, but he says people's voices need to be heard.
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