ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - At 10 a.m. Friday, the Municipality of Anchorage and the State of Alaska signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The effort was to increase the number of prosecutions involving domestic violence and property crime felonies, in Anchorage.
Currently, the state prosecutes all felonies around Alaska – including Anchorage. The Municipal Prosecutor's Office prosecutes misdemeanor offenses, along with having "special expertise in prosecuting domestic violence offenses."
In an effort to leverage existing state and local resources in Anchorage, officials announced that two police officers will serve as investigators within the Anchorage District Attorney's Office.
At the conference, APD Chief Justin Doll explained that adding the two police officers to the DA's Office will improve case communication.
"When [a] case gets handed off to prosecution, sometimes there's other details that need to be addressed," Doll said. "It can be difficult to get that follow up done, because they [patrol officers] might work on the weekends or the middle of the night. And so it's difficult for them to communicate with the DAs."
He added, "Having officers embedded at the DA's Office is going to be really critical, because those officers can then do all that detail work. It really makes our investigations and our work at the police department more efficient, because we're not having to do those follow up items for the DA's Office."
Additionally, these prosecutions will be cross-designated a state-funded municipal prosecutor, who will act as a special assistant district attorney.
"Expanding the capacity of the state’s prosecutors in Anchorage is a good step to hold bad actors accountable, protect survivors and use our resources efficiently – a mutually beneficial plan to reinforce the strength of our justice system and build a safer Alaska," said Attorney General Lindemuth.
The conference was attended by: Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, Governor Bill Walker, Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth, Deputy Attorney General Robert Henderson, Anchorage District Attorney Richard Allen, Municipal Prosecutor Seneca Theno, Anchorage Police Department Chief Justin Doll and Assembly Member Eric Croft.