Attorney General William Barr has declared a law enforcement emergency in rural Alaska and made $6 million immediately available for law enforcement needs in Native villages, the Department of Justice announced in a release Friday.

The emergency funds come from Office of Justice Program's Bureau of Justice Assistance and will be used to hire, equip and train Village Public Safety Offices, Village Police Officers and Tribal Police Officers in rural Alaska. The funds will also be used for mobile detention facilities.

Another $4.5 million from The DOJ Office on Community Oriented Policing Services will fund 20 officer by the end of July.

“In May, when I visited Alaska, I witnessed firsthand the complex, unique, and dire law enforcement challenges the State of Alaska and its remote Alaska Native communities are facing,” said Attorney General Barr. “With this emergency declaration, I am directing resources where they are needed most and needed immediately, to support the local law enforcement response in Alaska Native communities, whose people are dealing with extremely high rates of violence. Today, I am also directing each component and law enforcement agency of the Justice Department to submit plans within the next 30 days to further support federal, state, and tribal public safety efforts in rural Alaska.  Lives depend on it, and we are committed to seeing a change in this unacceptable, daily reality for Alaska Native people.”


The Bureau of Justice Assistance is also making an additional $162,000 available for an additional Project Safe Neighborhoods site that includes rural Alaska.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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