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Alaska FFY23 JAG Statewide Multijurisdictional Task Force Program

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $1,002,894)

The Alaska Department of Public Safety (DPS) is applying for this grant to support local law enforcement agencies throughout Alaska to participate in multi-jurisdictional drug task forces. These positions will be part of the Alaska State Troopers’ Statewide Drug Enforcement Unit (SDEU) and the Alaska HIDTA program. As part of the SDEU, these agencies will play a significant role in the interdiction of illegal substances being transported to smaller Alaskan communities.

Alaska imports and distributes illegal drugs into and throughout the state and is not known to produce or export illegal drugs. Hub locations at the airports act as a choke point for traffickers, and increasing law enforcement officers throughout Alaska allows for greater awareness, proximity, and timeliness.

The disparity between prices in the contiguous United States and Alaska presents an incentive for drug trafficking organizations to import and distribute drugs into and throughout the state. Moreover, there is a strong correlation between distance from a regional hub and price – the further a drug or alcohol is trafficked from a regional hub, the greater the retail price. Due to Alaska’s geography, there does not appear to be a difference in transportation methods by drug type. The most common transportation methods are air and parcel, followed by road, ferry, and boat.

Over 75 communities in Alaska have, by local option, banned the importation or possession of alcoholic beverages, and thus, it may be a felony to ship alcoholic beverages to those communities. Fewer communities have banned marijuana than alcohol. Legal alcohol is purchased in the hub cities or other legal locations and then distributed to local option communities. Marijuana is legal in Alaska, including possessing and transporting specific amounts. Alcohol and marijuana are the only two commonly produced drugs within the state.

With the law enforcement accountability measure, these funds will address the activities and spending conducted by these law enforcement officers embedded within the Alaska HIDTA and SDEU. The Alaska HIDTA program only covers overtime expenses and does not fund any sworn law enforcement positions in the state. These positions aim to increase interdictions of illegal drugs and alcohol across the state by 10% by 2027 through collaboration, greater information sharing, and the pooling of resources. The continuation of funds directly impacts the success of SDEU and the ability of local law enforcement agencies to engage in drug trafficking investigations throughout the state.

Date Created: September 22, 2023