Could Partnerships and Education Revolutionize Alaska’s Village Public Safety Officer Program

Jason Georg Fenno

Abstract


Alaska’s Village Public Safety Officers (VPSOs) are known as the first responders in the last frontier. VPSOs have been responding to crime and the issues that fuel crime, and other emergencies in Alaska’s rural villages since 1979. Today the VPSO program is confronting some of the highest rates of violence against women, alcohol abuse, suicide, and child welfare issues in the nation. Due to many serious issues, such as communication, local control, resource, and officer turnover/shortage issues, the VPSO program cannot continue down its current path. A proven solution which could revolutionize the VPSO program can be found in the city of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Prince Albert’s HUB and COR community mobilization initiative. This paper will provide an overview of how the VPSO program was established, how it functions today, and the serious issues that threaten the program’s future. An overview of the Prince Albert HUB and COR and Scotland’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) will follow. The final section examines how the new VPSO initiative could function under the HUB and COR model and why education will play an important role in the new VPSO initiative.  


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References


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