New US aid is coming to Alaska for murder, shootings probes
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska is getting a federal agent to respond to Anchorage murders and a task force is being convened to examine evidence left at shooting scenes, acting U.S. Attorney for Alaska Bryan Schroder said.
The moves are among efforts being made by federal officials to offer Anchorage police and Alaska State Troopers greater aid to get violent offenders off the streets, he said.
The move follows U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ plan this week to resurrect Project Safe Neighborhoods, an initiative that promotes giving additional tools to local programs targeting gun crimes, KTVA reported Wednesday.
“The cornerstone of PSN is really the cooperation between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to combat violent crime in neighborhoods and particularly gun crime,” Schroder said.
FBI statistics for last year listed Alaska as the nation’s most violent state per capita and Anchorage as the second-most violent U.S. city, Shroder said.
The federal agent will be on-call to respond to Anchorage murders and shootings, Schroder said. The task force will examine and compare bullet casings and other evidence left at shooting scenes.
“The purpose of the federal duty agent is to provide intelligence to law enforcement on the scene and also examine possible federal charges,” Schroder said. “That provides intelligence for the officers to look into who’s really doing the shootings.”
Anchorage police Chief Justin Doll said the federal aid “couldn’t come at a better time for APD.”
For cases in rural Alaska, an assistant U.S. attorney will be assigned to work with troopers to identify and target violent offenders, Schroder said.
Information from: KTVA-TV, http://www.ktva.com