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NCJ Number: 119976 Find in a Library
Title: Village Public Safety Officer (VPSO) Program in Rural Alaska: Trends and Prospects
Author(s): O Marenin
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 46
Type: Program Description (Model)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The isolation, size, and dispersion of villages and settlements in Alaska make the provision of services, including public safety, order, and law a complicated, expensive, and time-consuming proposition.
Abstract: Itinerant Federal marshals and State troopers, and police officers permanently posted in villages, provide formal law enforcement and public order services. Beginning in the 1960s, the Alaska State Trooper (AST) agency began training Natives to be village police officers, however five criticisms have plagued village forces: turnover rates, unstable funding, improper training, unclear goals, and inadequate performance. In 1979-1980, the Village Public Safety Officer (VPSO) program was established. The VPSO program sought to remedy these weaknesses by training officers in fire suppression, law enforcement, emergency medical skills, search and rescue techniques, and water safety. The funds, provided by the State legislature, are distributed under contracts with ten, Native non-profit organizations. The first evaluation of the program analyzed its technical aspects; later evaluation found the program to be marginally effective and not cost effective. Research including quantitative data on the program, evaluations from citizens and legislators, sociological descriptions, and an effectiveness analysis are necessary before the program can be improved. 11 endnotes, 51 references.
Main Term(s): Policing innovation
Index Term(s): Alaska; Alcohol-crime relationship; Law enforcement staff needs assessment; Police training programs
Note: Paper presented at the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Convention, Washington, DC, March 1989
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