Alaska governor outlines public safety initiatives

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy said he plans to issue an administrative order creating a council on missing and murdered Indigenous people.

Dunleavy said at a news conference in Anchorage that the idea is to “do the investigative work to make sure that justice occurs.” He said he wants to bring together groups that are focused on the issue and combine resources to develop “the best approach possible” to try to resolve cases.

Dunleavy, who is seeking reelection next year, said it was not “for show” or any future campaign. He said addressing crime has long been an issue for him.

The council was among the initiatives he announced Tuesday ahead of his budget rollout, set for Wednesday.

His office said he also planned to reestablish a task force focused on human trafficking and sex trafficking and issue an administrative order focused on “reshaping” the Alaska Council on the Homeless as part of efforts to address homelessness.

He plans to propose changes in state law that, among other things, would expand the crimes considered to be domestic violence and address repeated protective order violations, his office said. Dunleavy also plans to review Alaska’s foster care system, his office said.

Democrat Les Gara, who is running for governor and has been outspoken on foster care issues, said Dunleavy “waited until an election year to talk about a system for children that he’s let fall apart” during his term.